The famous Doretha Brande was the earliest advocate of early morning writing. Decades later, Doretha’s concept is now regularly referred to as morning pages. If you have studied writing in any capacity after finishing school, you may well have come across this tip. Many creative writing courses now begin with a look at Doretha’s helpful advice and encourage all students to take up morning pages.
Said to cleanse the soul, and make the most of that dreamlike state before you fully awake, morning pages are meant to be written the exact moment that you open your eyes after sleeping. This state is when you are most likely to write for the sheer sake of writing; without anything else distracting you. No tea, no coffee and no checking your phone – just sit up, reach for the pen and paper and write. That’s all good and well, but what if you’re simply not a morning person?
Can A Writing Routine Be Forced?
Encouraged to take up writing pages by a lecturer, I gave the subject my all a few years back. Hyped from the recent presentation given by a local writer regarding their success with writing a whole book from their morning pages routine, I too couldn’t wait to get started!
Religiously, I committed to two weeks of getting up at the same time every day, even at weekends, and reaching for my notebook at the side of me as soon as I did so. In my sleepy haze, I would then write for thirty minutes solid, pouring my thoughts out onto the paper. The idea of beginning my day doing something creative was almost a spur to get on and seize the day. However, when I looked back at what I had written, I had to question exactly what I was achieving.
Morning Pages Are Not for Everyone
Though it took me a while to face facts, I had to concede that morning pages just weren’t my thing. This was hard to admit when people around me were raving about them, but I’m just not a morning pages kind of guy, and I don’t think I ever will be!
I prefer to sit and free write in the late afternoon. My brain feels more responsive, and I produce some of my best work at this hour. Though morning pages may indeed help some people and get them set up for the day, they aren’t a requirement of writing. If, like me, you need a pot of coffee at least before you even attempt to put pen to paper, you may want to work with whatever time suits you best.