Morning Pages: what they are and why everyone’s talking about them

Morning Pages: what they are and why everyone’s talking about them

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The term Morning Pages was coined in 1992 and has become the topic of popular conversation in recent years. We’ve designed several of our blank journal books to support the Morning Pages practice.

Here’s what it’s all about.

A Tool for the Mind

Morning Pages is a daily practice created by Julia Cameron in her landmark book, The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. It was first published in 1992 and was reprinted in 2002 and 2016, so the concept has been around for decades.

Cameron considers Morning Pages to be a tool. She writes:

“Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages–they are not high art. They are not even ‘writing.’ They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind – and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page…and then do three more pages tomorrow.”

Some advantages of Morning Pages include clearing the mind to focus on useful things; discovering creativity; silencing the inner critic by letting it speak; reducing anxiety; and generating ideas. These and other benefits are supported by several studies as well as anecdotally reported evidence.

Tim Ferriss Writes Morning Pages

In 2015, business-buddah Tim Ferriss brought attention to the Morning Pages practice in his article, What My Morning Practice Looks Like. Of Morning Pages, he writes: “It’s the most cost-effective therapy I’ve ever found.”

Robin Sharma (The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari) is another successful entrepreneur who swears by his journaling practice, which he explains as an opportunity to “deconstruct” events.

When successful entrepreneurs and productivity hackers like Ferriss and Sharma speak, people listen. So, while tens of thousands of people – especially writers and artists – were already doing a Morning Pages practice, Ferriss raised its awareness among new audiences.

A Low-Risk Brain Hack

The Morning Pages practice helps short-circuit the over-thinking monkey mind. It’s a shortcut that to disarm the mental baggage that weighs us down, or to tap into the creative flow that left-brain activity stifles. Matthew McConaughey recently revealed that he’s been keeping a journal for nearly 40 years, and morning journaling is an important part of his practice:

“One thing I do check in with myself before checking in with the world when I wake up in the morning. Really sit there and take a little time, read a little something that’s between me and me. A little something before picking up the damn phone and saying, hey, what e-mails came in or hopping out in the kitchen and everyone is already going hey, what’s up?!”

One crucial element of the Morning Pages brain-hack is that it’s done long-hand: no keyboard allowed! Long-hand gets the physical body involved and slows things down. This is another area where scientific study is uncovering quantifiable benefits.

Morning Pages Journals

Julia Cameron herself created a journal compendium to The Artist’s Way.

For a variety of beautiful blank journal book designs and themes that are designed specifically to support the Morning Pages practices, check out our Morning Pages Journal Books.