Last month I tried something called Morning Pages. The idea is that first thing in the morning you sit down and handwrite three pages of thought. You don’t filter or try to compose it in any presentable fashion because these pages are not to be read, or even make sense really. Ideally, it’s a way to clear out the cobwebs and regain focus.
Julia Cameron, author of The Artist Way, described it like this:
Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, 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. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page…and then do three more pages tomorrow.Someone compared it to taking a walk. Sometimes we just need to walk for the sake of taking a walk – to clear our heads. It’s like that. Just writing for the sake of writing, get all of our thoughts down on paper and maybe it’ll help us be a little more focused, maybe it’ll help us figure something out.
Some people are really in love with morning pages like Chris Winfield.
Others think it is a complete waste of time and energy in your writing.
Here’s what I think:
I like the idea of Morning Pages and can certainly see the benefits or reasons for doing it, but for me, it wasn’t very productive. I found myself sitting there feeling pressure to get something down on paper and to fill all three pages. I was just rambling.
You may wonder what the difference is between Morning Pages and journaling. For me, the difference between the two is that I journal when I have something worth noting or need to work through a situation. Morning Pages are just a daily writing exercise for the sake of clearing your thoughts.
I think a more productive way for me to gain focus before my day starts would be just to take the time to write lists. I’m going to start bullet journaling and I feel like that may be more what I need to help regain focus. I’ll use it more as a note taking system than a daily planner. If I can jot something down then it clears it from my mind.
What do you think of morning pages? Have you tried them? Would you give it a shot?