Morning Pages are a wonderful way to de-clutter your brain in preparation for creative pursuits, or just to calm yo’ self. Morning Pages are a crucial part of my Morning Routine, and I love to sit down and unburden my crazy mind every day. (morning routine link) Unlike Journaling however, there are a set of rules to follow in order to achieve the maximum benefits.
Write By Hand
Also known as ‘a good excuse to use those fancy-pantsy fountain pens you’ve been collecting’. I love this rule, because I’m all about handwriting. You can use any paper, and any pen, but in my experience if you get yourself something nice that’s fun to use, you’re more likely to keep up the habit. Plus it just feels better to have thick paper and a pen that glides like a buttered figure skater.
Writing by hand is also more emotional than using a computer, so the physical act of writing summons the muses better than Axe body spray.
Write Three Pages
Yup, three. No more, no less. Okay, okay, if we’re going to be honest with each other, I sometimes bend this rule. Some mornings your brain is extra full and overflows to four pages. Other mornings you get two pages done and just itch to get to work on a project. It’s okay. Here at Ink and Chocolate, we write with decadence, not obedience, so feel free to do whatever you do.
It doesn’t really matter what you write. You can write the same sentence over and over if it works for you. I generally stick to a format: one page of about things that happened yesterday, one page about what I want to do today, and then a final page on random thoughts or feelings about creative projects I’m working on. This effectively eliminates the ‘I don’t know what to write’ problem.
Write First Thing In the Morning
Morning Pages exist to help prepare you for the day. Before you start filling your brain up with stuff, you need to empty it first. I bend this rule as well, since my Morning Routine involves a few other wakey-up things before the Morning Pages happen. I’ve tried doing the pages first thing, and I just ended up sitting there for half an hour trying to get my brain to work well enough to form letters and words. So… ya. Your choice. (morning routine link)
Write Every Day
You’ll see better results if you make it a habit and write every day. I find Morning Pages to be easier than a journal because there’s no pressure to write something meaningful, or even good. I can just word vomit for a little bit and call ‘er done.
Don’t Re-Read Them
This is a brain dump exercise, not a chronicle of your life or a work of art. Do yourself a favour and avoid going back to re-read what you wrote. Seriously, don’t do it.
Why I Use Morning Pages
Obviously there are so many benefits to Morning Pages, but I specifically use them because I’m a writer. I kind of concider Morning Pages a warm-up exercise to get my brain going and those words coming. The worst part of being a writer isn’t coming up with ideas, it’s staring at a blank page, indecisive on how to start. Really, it’s not the blank page that’s the problem; the problem is my brain. Writing Morning Pages ‘primes the pump’ so to speak, and it’s so easy to just transition to writing anything else.
“The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron ‘invented’ this little gem, so if you want to learn more about Morning Pages I recommend you go right to the source.