Morning pages: a simple morning routine that can change your entire day.
I think the first time I heard about morning pages was around 4 or 5 years ago, when a friend told me about Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way. For the LIFE of me I can’t remember if it was Caitlin Connolly or Ryan Tanner, but either way, they’re both equally talented artists in their own right, so does it really matter?
(Sorry, whoever it was…)
I never actually bought or even read Julia Cameron’s book, so I can’t really say much about it other than that it is highly recommended. I’ve heard Tim Ferriss and Brian Koppelman both recommend it on their podcasts.
The gist is this – get up, and first thing you do is clear your mind by writing, longhand (not on the computer) three full pages. That’s it.
I don’t really want to complicate it, because part of the beauty is in the simplicity, but I will say that it doesn’t matter what you write. My pages tend to be about what’s bothering me, what’s frustrating in my life at the moment, and working out ideas that keep sticking with me and won’t go away.
There aren’t really any rules other than write three pages and do it as consistently as possible.
The thing is, I can’t think of another habit or practice that has had a greater effect on my creativity. There is a noticeable difference in the days that I do morning pages compared to days that I don’t. It literally feels like you are taking the fog of everything that’s on your mind and pushing it out of your head and onto the paper, and trapping it there, giving you an incredible feeling of clarity throughout the rest of the day.
I remember things better, I’m quicker on my feet, and my mood is just better because I’m not dwelling on all of the (admittedly small amount of) bad stuff.
So, check it out. Give it a try. Do 5 or 10 days of morning pages and see what happens. Maybe it’s just the thing you’ve been looking for.