The practice of writing morning pages is nothing new. I’ve been hearing about this for many years, but always brushed it off as not something for me. I’ve tried journaling on and off and it never stuck for any length of time. It wasn’t until last month when I decided to give it a try and see what all the fuss was about.
I picked up a copy of The Artists Way by Julia Cameron at the library where the concept of morning pages came from. The book teaches how “blocked” artists can recover and gain their creativity back. I started reading it and also doing the morning pages just over 30 days ago. I missed one day when I was traveling but other than that, I’ve been consistent.
What is morning pages?
The concept is very simple. Get out a notebook or journal and complete three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing; ideally first thing in the morning. Don’t worry about how your writing looks or how it sounds. Don’t pay attention to flow or sentence structure. Just write anything and everything that is on your mind each morning. Don’t go back and re-read your morning pages and don’t allow others to read them either.
We all have so much going on in our lives and in our brains with our jobs, family life, bills, worries, excitement and everything in between. We seem to carry around the weight of all of these thoughts. The morning pages are meant to help you “unload” all of these thoughts by dumping everything onto paper.
My morning pages
I was excited to give this a shot, so I went out and bought a nice new notebook to do this writing each day. I sometimes do it right away in the morning before I do anything else, or I write them once the dogs have been taken out for their walk. Either way, it’s typically before 8am. On average, it takes me about 20 minutes to write the pages, sometimes longer if I feel stuck. I’m usually writing about one of the crazy dreams I had, what I did yesterday, what my plan for the day is, how I’m feeling, what I’m worried about or what I’m looking forward to. There have been days where I feel like the pages are pointless and other days where I come to some grand realization about how to handle a situation that has been bothering me. Sitting in the kitchen in silence with a cup of coffee and writing has been a really nice way to wake up and start the morning.
What I’ve learned
There are a few benefits that I’ve already noticed in the last 30 days. Enough that I want to continue.
- They help bring to light things that I’ve forgotten about- I always keep a scrap sheet of paper next to me because I’ll often think of “to-do” items during this time that I’ve not thought about in a while.
- Clears your mind- Many days I feel as if a weight has been lifted after my pages are done and I’m more ready to take on the day.
- Helps you work through issues- I tend to have a racing mind and anxious thoughts and this gives me a platform to work through them.
- Sets a positive mood on the day- I’ve never walked away from this practice feeling worse. I almost always walk away feeling more grateful and positive.
- Clams your mind- The act of a “brain dump” is pretty powerful. Sometimes just getting thoughts off your chest is as easy as writing it down, you don’t need to complain to someone else.
This practice has been a total declutter for my brain and I’m HOOKED! Have you tried morning pages? Comment below =)
“I want to write, but more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried deep in my heart.” —Anne Frank
Thanks for reading,