Joe came here looking for advice on Morning Pages and didn't find any. So, I emailed him this excerpt from my first batch this morning. Hang on to your hats, kids. This is hot stuff.
"Wow. Has it been six years since I did this the last time? Is that right? Well, let's see. We moved here in June of 2005 so it's been almost five years here. Was it spring of 2004? Yes. Yes it was."
I'm not kidding and Julia is not kidding. Stream. Of. Consciousness. Dump. Your. Brain. Make lists of things to do. Say what you're mad about. What you're worried about. Tell the page your dream about trying to make a phone call and always messing up the last number. What you're looking forward to. What you dread. And so on. And so on. Even your future biographers in grad schools across the country should be bored spitless by what you wrote in your Morning Pages.
Will you find things that surprise you? Yes. For example, that phone dream ... I never thought about it, but it's definitely a metaphor for one of my big fears. I swear I never noticed it until now. But if you look for substance as you're writing the pages, you will write terrible, stilted crap. Which is lovely, of course. And maybe what you need to write for awhile.
Here's a tip from my experience. I need to feel that my pages are private. Not like Bill is going to sneak around and peep at my boring stuff, but it's just a feeling. I feel better about writing drivel if I'm sure no one is going to see it. So, I always find a big, heavy-duty rubber band and put it around my notebook. That way someone looking for a piece of paper to write down a phone number (Ack! Phone numbers. Again.) won't open my book and find out it's been six years since I did the Artist's Way.....
Are we having fun yet? I am.