Paul Graham on Procrastination

“Errands are so effective at killing great projects that a lot of people use them for that purpose. Someone who has decided to write a novel, for example, will suddenly find that the house needs cleaning. People who fail to write novels don’t do it by sitting in front of a blank page for days without writing anything. They do it by feeding the cat, going out to buy something they need for their apartment, meeting a friend for coffee, checking email. ‘I don’t have time to work,’ they say. And they don’t; they’ve made sure of that.”

Paul Graham, Good and Bad Procrastination

Morning Pages: 8 Lessons Learned

Today is day four of the morning pages exercise. Here’s what I’ve learned so far.

1. Make Morning Pages a Priority

I almost skipped morning pages today. It wasn’t something I consciously chose to do. I just let myself get side-tracked. I started surfing around reading other peoples’ stuff, looking for inspiration, and before I knew it, an hour had passed, and I’d still not started writing.

I may have to change my morning routine, which typically looks like this. I roll out of bed and hit the bathroom. Then I grab a coffee. Next, I turn on my computer and check a few things. Then I finally sit down to write my morning pages. I think tomorrow I won’t turn on my computer until my morning pages are done.

Want to Make Writing Easier? Try Morning Pages.

Writing is often a chore for me. With that in mind, I’ve undertaken a new morning ritual called “morning pages.” Morning pages is a writing exercise devised by Julia Cameron and popularized in her book, The Artist’s Way.

The morning pages exercise is designed to help you recover (or discover) your creativity, and silence what Julia refers to as the Censor. The Censor is that critical inner voice that criticizes each and every word you write and makes it brutally painful for you to write anything.