In one of my latest podcasts, I talked a bit about how writing can be an incredibly powerful tool for transforming your life.
Over the past six months or so, I’ve taken up writing as a daily practice and technique for managing myself. It wasn’t long after I got started that I noticed a huge difference in my mental and emotional well-being. I use the physical act of writing to help me clear my head, organize my thoughts, and process my experiences. Since I made writing a part of my daily routine, I’ve felt more focused, less anxious, and lighter!
The one technique that I must share with you that I use on an almost daily basis is called “Morning Pages.” Contrary to its name, you don’t need to do them first thing in the morning, you can do them any time you feel overwhelmed or as though you’ve just got a lot going on in your head and need to quiet the noise a bit.
Morning Pages is a key part of the book, “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. While the book is aimed at artists, anyone can benefit from this daily practice. Essentially, it’s kind of like a “brain dump.” Morning Pages is an incredibly simple technique that anyone can try and benefit from.
What are “Morning Pages”?
In her popular book, “The Artist’s Way,” Julia Cameron recommends that first thing in the morning you pick up a notebook, just about any size you’re comfortable with will do, and physically write enough to fill up three pages. She recommends doing this every single day, first thing in the morning, to help clear your mind and mentally prime you for the rest of your day.
What you write doesn’t matter. It can be a list, things to remember, sketches, etc. Anything that’s on your mind at the moment. My go-to is a sort of “stream of consciousness” — just write down exactly what I’m thinking, without stopping, censoring, editing, or correcting. Grammar, spelling, structure, etc. don’t matter here.
Even if you don’t know what to write, write that you don’t know what to write. Literally, any thought that comes to mind, write down your complete internal dialogue. Write freely, openly, and honestly.
These pages are meant for your eyes only. Some people destroy the papers immediately; some people extract the important bits before shredding it; some people set aside the papers in a designated envelope to review later and shred weekly; some people hang onto their morning pages forever. It’s all about preference. There aren’t many rules. I think most people prefer to destroy the papers as soon as possible as it makes them feel much more comfortable with writing their innermost uncensored thoughts down on paper. Do you!