Every morning (well, almost every morning) I fill three pages of A4 paper with stream-of-consciousness writing. The morning pages, as Julia Cameron describes them, are 'the primary tool of creative recovery.'
I like the morning pages. I leave negative thoughts on the paper, analyse them, think of solutions, then get on with my day. It's not quite as neat as that, obviously. My mind wanders and I end up somewhere completely different from where I started. Good. The point is that I listen to my mind, my body, my soul even, and act accordingly.
A few years ago I started doodling in the morning. I'd pick up a nib pen, dip it in ink, and draw on blank sheets of paper. I'd draw anything. Whatever came to my mind. Sometimes I'd make a random mark and turn it into something recognisable. Other times I'd hear something interesting in a podcast and be inspired to draw something specific.
Without realising it, I was doing the morning pages already. In pictures. A stream-of-consciousness freestyle doodling. I thought I was just loosening up and practising my drawing skills. But now I see glimpses of a former life: shirts and ties, a flat with draughty wooden floorboards (and mice underneath them), and lunch in busy parks.
Last year I took part in InkTober, a month of ink drawings. You can read about that here. Again, I doodled without a plan and my thoughts bled onto the paper.
Morning doodles are great. They're fun, quick, good drawing practice, therapeutic (one might argue), idea-generating and, depending on how you feel about them, worth sharing.
Write your morning pages, then draw them!
Cartoonist and comics creator at Richard Pettitt Art. Studio in Uckfield, East Sussex, England.