Morning Pages Tips, Writing Exercise

If you’re a writer, you’ve probably heard about writing Morning Pages, as developed by Julia Cameron of The Artist’s Way. Many other artistic/creative folks use this daily practice also.

Here are a few tips I’ve found helpful for doing Morning Pages, that you might play with:

  • Don’t take your pen off of the page, especially if you feel like it’s taking for ever
  • Have a bunch of different pens that you use, including pens of different colors, calligraphy pens, brush pens, …
  • You don’t have to always write actual words, you can write gibberish
  • You can even make micro-drawings along the way.
  • You can use plenty of naughty words and complain about people in a way you might not to their face or to others
  • You don’t have to write along the lines of your page, you can change the orientation of the page and have different parts of the page written in different directions or even shapes
  • I like to use lined paper, otherwise I sometimes end up writing too small and take forever
  • It can be fun to write in a light, barely visible color like light orange or light pink, as that’ll make sure you don’t focus on what you already wrote since you won’t be able to see it.
  • Why not try writing with invisible ink also
  • Put a date at the top of the page, then /page# at the top also after first page.
  • When you feel like you’re running low on words to write, write “How am I feeling right now? I feel…”
  • I sometimes have a second notebook to double-write important notes I come up with while writing the morning pages, so I can record them, forget them and don’t get tempted to look back at the morning pages.
  • If you’re dealing with a chronic pain issue such as back pain, RSI, etc., check out John Sarno, MD and David Schechter’s books with references to journaling and incorporate that with this practice.
  • You can also try an alternative version of morning pages by recording yourself speaking. This actually be very positively impactful for people who are looking to do emotional journaling (I think I saw a research ref to this in Schechter’s latest book, can’t recall exactly).
    • If you know how long it normally takes to do your morning pages, try just recording your verbalized stream of consciousness thoughts for the same amount of time.
    • I use a Zoom H5 audio recorder, which is probably overly fancy, but I do like the idea of having a separate recorder from your cell phone.
    • You can also do half and half… half the pages written and half the time audio recording.

I haven’t seen many folks mention how long it takes them, something I’ve been curious about. I currently do about half an hour and write 2 pages only. Hope these thoughts help.

For those of you who do Morning Pages, what has your experience been like and what tips do you have?

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