Utilize the "Morning Pages" method with Supernote for creative recovery
Author: Allison Robinson, senior lecturer at Oxford Brookes University
As soon as I saw the Ratta Supernote, I was mesmerised; the Supernote demands attention, and I knew it would support my life and work. As many believe, win the morning and win the day – this is certainly my truth. Many well-known bloggers such as Tony Robbins, Tim Ferris and Andrew Huberman have added their ideas and advice on the best daily start, and their popularity speaks for itself.
And so, only recently, I discovered the Morning Pages – they aren’t new. The pages were described in Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way, way back in 1992, starting a movement that swept the world. Since then, the book has been translated into around 40 languages, selling in the millions. However, the concept has never been more relevant than today. YouTube is awash with videos on how to complete the pages, there is a ton of sometimes contradictory instruction, and so I sought to form, and then hone, my own practice; I believe that I now have.
Julia Cameron describes the pages as “three pages of longhand writing, strictly stream-of-consciousness”. They are not meant to sound smart, be artistic, or even shared, and in fact Cameron advises against rereading the pages at all for the first eight weeks at least. If nothing but “blah, blah, blah” is in your head, it goes on the page, but keep the hand moving, moving.
Online, there is much debate about a page. Reading around, I settled on three pages of A4, (and I believe letter-size would work equally well). I began with pen and paper, moved to my Rocketbook, returned to paper, and then received my Supernote – here I have stayed. With my paper and Rocketbook, I felt bound to a desk, needing a light to see. With my Supernote, I’m somehow freed to complete my pages anywhere, and have even worked publicly. So, here’s how I did it...
After some wrangling, I had decided on the larger A5 X, half the size of the paper I was using for my pages. Looking online, I found a template that gave me lines and dots in a landscape view, 20 lines per page. I counted the lines on my A4 paper pad, and found 33 per page, meaning that I was completing 99 lines per day. Within my Supernote I created a note, with five numbered pages (100 lines, each the same length as those on my paper pad, with one line over for use as a header). This note I have left blank, so that I can reuse it for my daily writing. Then, each morning, I copy my blank note, and carry out my writing for the day within the copied document.
I find copying the actual note better than creating a template, which would be for a single page only. When I write, I hide (what in portrait orientation would be) the top bar so that I don’t accidentally select different writing tools / erasers, but I retain the page numbers at the bottom / RHS (eg “1 of 5”, “2 of 5”, etc) – thus enabling rapid movement to the next page. Having the five short pages set up ready means that I can easily monitor the quantity.
I find that although I was never a particularly fast writer, I can complete the pages in around 25 minutes. Rest the pen within the hand rather than gripping it, and move freely across the page. Style, structure, spelling, grammar, are all unimportant. Just dump it out, without even the fear that you have a vendetta against plant-life, decimating a small forest in your voyage of self-discovery.