I first heard about Morning Pages when I was interviewing Mari Andrew, one of my favorite Instagram illustrators. She mentioned that writing Morning Pages in her journal is an essential part of her morning routine.
According to Julia Cameron, who developed the concept in her book The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, Morning Pages are three pages of handwritten stream of consciousness writing done first thing in the morning. “There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages—they are not high art. They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind, and they are for your eyes only.”
So now we know what they are, but what do they do exactly? It turns out there’s a multitude of benefits that arise from this practice. Cameron explains that they’re meant to “provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize, and synchronize the day at hand.” A writer from Medium even goes so far as to call them “the most cost-effective form of therapy.” He goes on to explain that instead of picking up his phone first thing when he wakes up, “dumping your thoughts onto a paper has helped me remove many worries from my mind and achieve a deeper sense of clarity.”
After trying the practice for about a month, I can wholeheartedly agree. I have to admit that at first, the idea of writing three pages every morning seemed daunting. I have a fairly anxious mind, and I tend to overthink things, so at first it was a little difficult for me to just write anything without judging or analyzing it. But as soon as I took the expectation out of it things became a lot easier.
Often, we wake up thinking about all that we have to do for the day, already feeling overwhelmed. Getting up and dumping your thoughts into Morning Pages is a great way to change that. It allows you to get rid of any thoughts that might be bothering you, and move into your day with a clearer mind. When I’m writing my morning pages, I also try to think about what I want to achieve for the day, and how I want to feel. This puts me in a positive, active frame of mind instead of a passive, stressed one that I might otherwise be in if I woke up and started reading texts or checking social media right away.
Above all, Morning Pages are a great way to check in with yourself. With our constant access to technology, it can be easy to distract and never fully spend time with yourself. As a result, you may find that you don’t often reflect on how you’re doing and feeling until it’s too late and you become burnt out. Instead, writing these pages is a great way to check in at the beginning of each day and monitor your current state.
If you’re looking for other ways to transform your morning routine, check out these five easy ways to practice mindfulness.
Written By: Kara Cuzzone