I Wrote Morning Pages for Two Weeks
I’ve had a sign over my typewriter for over 25 years now, which reads “Don’t think!” You must never think at the typewriter — you must feel. … The worst thing you do when you think is lie — you can make up reasons that are not true for the things that you did, and what you’re trying to do as a creative person is surprise yourself — find out who you really are, and try not to lie, try to tell the truth all the time. - Ray Bradbury
For two weeks, as soon as I woke up, I opened my laptop and wrote whatever came into my mind.1 Julia Cameron suggested filling three pages, but I didn’t want to let this routine be another form of homework. I just stopped whenever I felt like I was done after 20 to 30 minutes. Sometimes, I wrote more than three pages and sometimes only a few paragraphs.
I decided to give morning pages a try because I wanted to form a habit of writing without the fear of self-censorship and criticism. I didn’t want to be the adult who was once an artist as a child. I wished to cultivate the nonconformist spirit within me.
The amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigour, and moral courage which it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric, marks the chief danger of the time. - John Stuart Mill
After two weeks, the impact was less than transformative. There was no enlightenment. My life was not magically charged with the sudden burst of creative energy. I still struggled to focus on a single project and often stared at the monitor lifelessly.
However, when I reread my journal, I realized what I wrote in the morning was worth revisiting. The sentences were not refined but seemed more authentic than my blog posts. Some ideas even inspired me to work on long-form writings.
Curious to have a peek? Here’s some snippets from my morning pages this week (never sharing my journal again):
- My wish is to be a great creator, teacher, and friend.
- I’m using this tool called MarkEdit. It’s super fast. Crisp and simple. I’m thinking of using this to write for my blog posts in the future. The details of design matter right? Some apps just feel right. Feel like a breath of fresh air. Tastes like freedom almost. Why is that? Are we making a brand that makes people feel that way? ‘Damn these guys are doing something different’ should be the first impression.
- Do I need a purpose to wake up and jumpstart the day? Maybe. I do have tons of things I want to do, but they don’t feel urgent right now. Maybe that’s a problem. Maybe… Who knows?
- I think in two languages. No, I mostly think in Korean. Maybe it’s because I mostly speak in Korean. It’s weird. I consume information in English, and I’m even writing this journal in English. But I’m surrounded by people speaking Korean.
- So, what is creativity? What should I read about creativity? Originality may mean authenticity. Let’s dig into a bunch of interviews and see how other artists answer this question. What is creativity and how do they develop this skill? That’s really an interesting topic. Because creativity is definitely not about talent. It’s about constant work. Workworkwork. Just work tirelessly.
My Input and Output
- Conversations with wife, mom, and a few friends.
- TV shows and movies.
- Social media.
- Writings (newsletter, blog posts, and a book).
- Workshops and meetings.
- PIKA가 런칭했다. 퍼스널블로깅플랫폼이 많아지고 있다. 서로 뭐가 다를까 싶어도 놀랍게도 다른 매력이 있다. 기능이 아니라 보여지는 디자인이 얼마나 중요한지 새삼 깨닫는다. 우리는 어떤 디자인을 내세우고 있는가. 충분히 매력있나? 딱 봤을 때, 아 저 로고가 박힌 티셔츠를 입고 싶다고 느낄 수 있나.
- 창의적이다는 말은 사람 혹은 제품에 쓰인다. 새롭거나 쓰임이 있거나. 둘 중에 뭔가가 있어야 한다. 새롭다는 것은 무엇을 의미하는가. 완전히 새로운 발명이거나 아니면 새로운 접근이 필요하다. 창의적인 사람에 대하여 이야기 해보자. 창의적인 사람은 평범함에서 비범함을 발견한다. 봉준호는 창의적이다. 상상을 잘해서가 아니라 상상을 현실로 만들기 때문에 창의적이다. 나도 가끔 상상을 한다. 만약 외계인이 넘어와 인간을 지배한다면 어떻게 될까. 하루 아침에 피라미드 맨 위에서 바닥으로 내려오는 현실을 받아들일 수 있을까.
- 야 그 주제로 영화를 만들어봐, 소설을 써봐, 뭐라도 해봐는 할 수 있지만 실제로 스토리를 짜서 세상에 내놓고 감동을 줄 수 있는 능력이 있나. 그것이 창의성에 핵심이 아닐까. 하나에 집착한다. 그리고 이뤄낸다. 그것이 아마 창의성의 근본이다.
- 일주일 간 창의적인 사람이 되고자 노력했다. 이상하게 들리는 말이다. 창의성을 인공적으로 만들 수나 있을까. 어찌됐든 한번 발악했다.
- 나는 어떤 사람을 창의적인 사람으로 바라볼까. 나는 어떤 물건을 봤을 때 창의적이라 생각할까? 창의적인 사람을 찾기는 참 어렵다. 유행을 잘 따라가는 사람, 정해진 틀 안에서 경쟁을 잘하는 사람은 있지만 ‘아 저 사람 참 창의적이다’ 싶은 사람은 주변에 찾기 어렵다.
- 창의적인 사람을 세상에 없던 작품을 만든다. 완전히 새로울 필요는 없지만, 평범한 일상에 새로운 시각을 제시한다. 놀라움이 있다. 불편하게 한다.
- How to survive as an artist? That’s a question that we all have to answer. I can teach, I can sell books, I can maybe become a professor.
- I should try to care more about the people in this country. Great stuff is happening, and I might just be oblivious of it. Should I move to Seoul? Maybe I should. Should I try to be more connected to Seoul? Maybe I should.
- Solitude. Just reading books and writing books. Just books and books and books.
I’ll continue to jot down my stream of consciousness every morning. I don’t expect morning pages to be the secret sauce for my creative endeavors. I only know that my work will be more truthful if I’m aware of what I really care about. So far, rereading piles of private journals seems like the best way to learn about myself.