I find that ideas are best flowing when I am in a regular routine of doing daily pages. Daily pages might not be the right name in my case — perhaps weekly pages, or even fortnightly pages, would be more suitable. I’ll go ahead and stick with daily as a reminder that they are worth doing that often. Daily pages are a regular discipline just to generate output to get your mind moving.
I was introduced to daily pages through The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron. (She calls them morning pages…I’m not sure how or why I switched to calling them daily pages, but I’m not changing now!) In this book, she calls them “the primary tool of creative recovery” and describes them this way:
What are morning pages? Put simply, the morning pages are three pages of longhand writing, strictly stream-of-consciousness: “Oh, god, another morning. I have NOTHING to say. I need to wash the curtains. Did I get my laundry yesterday? Blah, blah, blah…” They might also, more ingloriously, be called brain drain, since that is one of their main functions.
Sometimes my daily pages are just as boring as she describes above. On the other hand, I am often surprised at how deep they sometimes get as they help me clear my thinking about something. And, I can definitely say that when I am in a season of doing them more consistently, more creativity flows out of my cleared head.
Please don’t think that daily pages are just a tool for those who write. It doesn’t matter what your medium of creativity is, daily pages can be a valuable tool in your creative flow.