Morning Pages: How & Why I Write Them

How I use morning pagesWhen I wrote about how I spent my first hour of the day, I mentioned that instead of reaching for my phone, I grab a notebook and spend a few minutes doing morning pages.

My favorite thing about morning pages is that they can manifest as anything you want them to be, there are no rules or right or wrong techniques. Anything you put on paper counts as a morning page. When I first started doing them, I didn’t realize just how much stuff we wake up with in the morning.

Have you ever had one of those days where as soon as you open your eyes, you’re overwhelmed with the emails you need to send, funny screen shot you forgot to put in a group chat and the pile of laundry you forgot to toss in the machine the day before? I’ve been there.

Enter, morning pages.

Whether you need a more long form writing session or a quick brain dump to clear way to take on the day’s tasks, morning pages will do the job.

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How

There are a few different ways I approach morning pages, depending on where my head is at that morning.

Make a list

A to-do list, a gratitude list, a grocery list –all are applicable. Sometimes it helps just to write out all of the things I need to accomplish that day so that the scope of tasks becomes less overwhelming. I write a lot of lists, but the ones I do in the mornings always help to clear my mind for the rest of the day.

Set a timer

No formatting or structure, just put a few minutes on the clock and free write until the buzzer goes off. The only rule is that you don’t stop writing until the timer goes off. Even if that means you just write the same few words, over and over again, you’d be amazed at what a mind clearing activity it can be.

Give yourself a prompt

Maybe you need more creative structure in your morning pages? Draw a sketch every morning, or write a haiku at the start of the day. There are some days when I just take a whole page to write a gratitude log. I split the page into a few categories: work, life, family, home, ect. Then jot down a few things I’m grateful for in each category.

The only rule I’d implement is dedicating one space to store your pages, be it an already established journal or separate notebook (what I use). This way, it’s easy to find in the morning (especially before that first cup of coffee) and keep track of. Nothing worse than wasting time in the mornings looking for lost items!

If you try morning pages, let me know how you liked it and which style works for you!

How I use morning pages

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  1. This is one of those things I’ve always meant to do, and hardly ever get to. I think “oh, I can do it later in the day” and I’m fairly good at that, but I know there are days and weeks where I don’t write a whole lot past what I need to do and what got done (and that’s it). It really is something one should be doing, though, even if it just means you write your to-do list again and again, or remind yourself about x-thing to pick up from the store, etc – better to get it out of your head than let it float around forever!

  2. Love this! I don’t wake up early enough to do anything like this (which, I know, is a problem), but I really like the idea. I did recently buy a journal of 1000 writing prompts, & I think that might be really helpful for me in an exercise like this. Thanks for the ideas!

  3. I’m curious to try this. I’m the type to journal a bit at night to unwind so the idea of starting the day with it.. I wonder how I would feel! Definitely going to have to give it a try.

    Melody // http://www.marevoli.com

  4. This seems like it would be therapeutic for someone like myself who suffers from a mind that races at 100 mph as soon as I wake up. I like to write to kind of do a mind dump in the evening, but doing it in the morning seems like a great way to start your day. I’m definitely going to give it a try.