Brain dump session with Morning Pages

Makzan’s Dispatch 2020 week 31, 32

Hi friend,

In 2013, I bought the book The Artist’s Way. This is a book written by Julia Cameron in 1992. I bought it in Perth, Australia, during my trip to the GlobalSkills Challenge for web design skill. It was a tiny book corner next to a train station.

The book was class notes that Julia taught in her creativity workshop. She provided a guide to help people with creative blocks.

One of the most life-changing guides is the morning pages tool. That is to write 3 pages in the morning. All the writings are “stream-of-consciousness”. What does that mean? I call it a brain dump

During the brain dump session, the only thing I do is to type words out. Just typing whatever comes up in my mind.

When I have nothing to write, I will just write down “Can’t think of anything right now. What to write next? What’s next?”

Yes, they are junk. But by repeating these junk sentences several times, I often start typing something useful again. I call these gems in the junk draft. We cannot edit a blank page, we can only edit a page of writings. So I don’t mind writing 3 full pages out and then cross-out 2 pages of junk sentence. From the 1 remaining page of writing, I can have some gems ready for my rewrite and further publishing needs.

Indeed, it didn’t have to be morning, but having something achieved right in the morning provides a good mood for the rest of the day. Sometimes, I even do it twice by writing another time in the evening, before going to sleep.

If writing feels boring to you, I recommend writing on the 750words.com. I started using it since 2011 May. 750words was also inspired by the Artist’s Way. It encourages us to write privately but share the writing statistics. 

There are 3 features on 750words to keep people writing every day. 

  1. It creates social pressure by knowing that hundreds of writers are also writing their Morning Pages every day. For instance, there are 701 writers with 800,738 words written as at writing this email.

  2. There is a progress bar to encourage us to write in a row every day. My longest steak so far is 5-in-a-row.

  3. There is a word counter on the bottom right of the page. So even if I am stuck writing anything meaningful, I will keep typing something out like “What to write next?” junk and the feeling is still good when staring at the word count. Then my mind may come up something meaningful, or not. You don’t know until you try to find it.

These three mechanisms help me to write some gems every morning. The brain dump session really helps me to think and find the hidden thoughts that I won’t know otherwise. Hope this Morning Page approach helps you as well.

As Julia mentioned, “There is no wrong way to do morning pages”. Just write.

Links worth sharing

Websites that spark joy
https://whimsical.club/

It is always fun to enjoy websites with personality.

For example, the blog from Matthew Hoelter provides a subtle pointer interaction in the background canvas.

Web fonts are 10 years now
https://www.w3.org/blog/2020/07/happy-birthday-web-fonts/

Utterances
https://utteranc.es

A comment system that uses public Github issues.

RakugakiAR app
https://apps.apple.com/hk/app/rakugakiar/id1515215584?l=en

Here is a short video Browser Party that I recorded with RakugakiAR.

Teach Yourself Computer Science
https://teachyourselfcs.com/

Until next week,
Thomas Mak