Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning.
I first read about Morning Pages on Lifehacker last year. Entrepreneur Chris Winfield believed in the process, so I thought I'd give it a shot. And then, I didn't - at least not until I got home from Christmas vacation. I received a beautiful journal from my grandparents over the holidays, and instead of adding it to the collection of office supplies collecting dust in my room, I gave Morning Pages a try. I stuck it out for the first ten days of January, then gradually forgot. I stopped until I woke up on Sunday morning and realized how beneficial Morning Pages are. According to author Julia Cameron:
1) Morning pages help with distraction
We have a tremendous number of thoughts throughout the day. Some normal: man, I should get that laundry done. Some not normal: There is no way I would survive in the wild -- I wouldn't mind getting dirty, but what would I eat? Take these thoughts, multiply them by 1000 and multiply them again. How is anyone expected to get any work done? Morning Pages are a brain dump - any thought you have, in any order, dumped onto paper. You don't worry about connecting paragraphs or transition sentences. You don't worry about grammar or spelling. You just pour your thoughts. Once they're out, they're less likely to come back at inopportune times.
2) Morning pages signal the beginning of your morning
If your morning routine consists of laying in bed, watching two hours of Full House, eating two (three) bowls of cheerios, then taking a shower, eventually you won't be able to start your day until you've completed everything. If you properly integrate Morning Pages into your morning routine, the act will tell your mind and body that once you're done, it's time to start your day.
3) Morning pages will inspire you
Most mornings, I wake up feeling like I can change the world. I sense that day will be the day I do something great. For the ten days I completed Morning Pages, that feeling was amplified, and the days I forgot, it was almost gone. Morning Pages are private, but here is an excerpt from my Morning Pages yesterday:
I'll be the first to admit I rarely get to three pages, and I rarely do it as soon as I wake up. Yet, the benefits of Morning Pages are not lost on me. So, why should you do Morning Pages?
Turns out, Morning Pages aren't only useful because they fight off distractions. Instead, they help me inspire myself. Morning Pages make my thoughts concrete, they make my thoughts real. There is nothing more painful than the notion, subconscious or not, that your thoughts, your dreams, or your ideas aren't valid. When you have a thought and you don't validate it by putting it on paper or speaking it out loud, you're telling yourself your thoughts aren't important enough to be heard. How can anyone be inspired if that's inside them?
Do you do Morning Pages, or anything similar? I'd love to hear more about it!