15 Seriously helpful tips for doing your morning pages

morning pages

In case you are unfamiliar with morning pages, it is a term coined by Julia Cameron, from her book “The Artist’s Way.” Julia Cameron describes them as: 

... three pages of longhand (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 not even ‘writing’. They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind–and they are for your eyes only. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page…Nothing is too petty, too silly, too stupid, or too weird to be included.”

For those of us who do morning pages, it can also be described as a private sanctuary where you gather yourself, albeit on paper, before the start of your day.

How to get the most out of your morning pages

  1. Get up earlier. Make your morning pages part of your morning routine. Morning pages can take anything from 20 to 40 minutes, so it’s best to wake up earlier than you normally would.

  2. Don’t worry about your handwriting. No one is going to read your writing, so it doesn’t need to be perfect. It doesn’t need to be tidy.

  3. Don’t worry about grammar or spelling. If you misspell, don’t go back to fix it. Just keep the pen going.

  4. Don’t worry about needing to complete your thoughts. If you are writing about subject A, and subject B pops into your head, don’t feel the need to complete subject A before you start with subject B. You can change gears whenever you want.

  5. If the weather allows, write outside or open a window. When you get in touch with nature, this can take your morning pages to a new level. 

  6. Don’t check your phone, messages, or the internet before you start your morning pages. You don’t want mental distractions before you even get started.

  7. Create a ritual out of your morning pages. Curate a morning ritual that is calming, simple, and relaxing. Perhaps make a cup of coffee before you head out to the deck to sit and write your morning pages.

journaling tips
  1. Use nice supplies—you are worth it! Use a great pen that flows easily and write in a nice book. If the pen and book are not nice, you may not be motivated to write.
  2. Listen to ad-free ambient music. Ambient music can help you focus on the task at hand, but make sure it is ad-free—ads can be very distracting.
  3. Don’t allow interruptions. Taking 30 minutes to write is not an indulgence. You’re not being selfish. Take the time you need for yourself. Interrupting your stream of thought is not conducive to effective writing. 
  4. Silence your phone.
  5. If you are not a morning person, write at a different time, like nighttime. Writing at night can help get worries and anxieties out of your head, and help you sleep better.
  6. Don’t sensor yourself. The morning pages are not meant for anyone but you, so write as if it’s for your eyes only. If you don’t allow yourself to vent in your morning pages, those thoughts will remain trapped in your head. 
  7. Destroy your morning pages if you are worried about someone else reading them.
  8. Allow yourself room for mistakes. It may take time to get into the habit of writing daily. Forgive yourself if you miss a day or two.