I’ll let screenwriter Brian Koppelman, creator of the movie Ocean’s Thirteen, explain:
“[Every morning,] what I do is based on the Morning Pages by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way. It’s three longhand pages where you just keep the pen moving for three pages, no matter what. No censoring, no rereading. It’s the closest thing to magic I’ve come across. If you really do it every day in a real disciplined practice, something happens to your subconscious that allows you to get to your most creative place. I’d say — and I know you’ve had this experience with other things you’ve given people — I’ve given that book to 100 people and said, ‘I’m telling you, you need to do this. . . .’ Of the 100 people I’ve given it to, maybe ten of them have actually opened the book and done the exercises. Of those ten, seven have had books, movies, TV shows, and made out successful. It’s incredible. That book changed my life, even though it’s very spiritual and I’m an atheist.”
I don’t think people want to be successful — not really. I don’t think they want to finish their homework, get promoted, land their dream job, or get married. I certainly don’t think people want to binge watch Netflix all day.
I think, deep down, we want to express ourselves. We want to come up with ideas and put them into the world. We want to be creative for no other reason than to be creative.
Morning pages help you do that, regardless of what your art is and regardless of whether or not you consider yourself an artist. You don’t need a goal and you don’t need an idea (yet).
You just need to do it and see what happens.