Discover how a simple daily ritual of writing can revitalise your creative spirit and bring joy to everyday life.

I first read about morning pages in some blog years ago. I didn’t know what it was, but just thought you sit down and write a page or more in the morning. This sounded like a great idea.

Me and my journals

I’ve been writing in my journal on and off since I was a child. It feels like it is a part of me. Others might talk to their friends or family, I write in my journal. I figure things out that way.

When I came across the concept of morning pages, without knowing or researching it more, I thought that this is nice and proceeded to do it. Every morning I’d write down what was in my head. Since the beginning of 2023, I did this in the same journal I’m now using as memory keeper, a Hobonichi cousin.

How it started

However a few months ago, thanks to social media, I started to slowly understand that this is much more. The concept is from a book called The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. It is about unblocking your creativity.

Today I do not want to write a book review, or go into detail on what the morning pages are. I want to write about my experience with them and what it means to me.

My tools

One of the rules I follow is that I have a dedicated journal for my morning pages. It is a B5 notebook to be exact. It has 520 pages of the best paper in the world (sue me), Tomoe River paper, with golden edges. It feels fancy! I want to use it.

I’m writing with my favourite fountain pen and precious ink. I love everything about it. The way it sounds when I write, how the ink flows onto the page, how the pages make a crinkling sound. This is important to me. It must feel just right.

It wasn’t always like that. When I started journaling I didn’t care. I didn’t know anything about paper or pens and that was perfect at that time. It worked just as well back then. Now it is my hobby and I spend money on it. I love nice pens, notebooks and pens.

Back to the morning pages

I started writing them according to Julia’s description in July this year. Since then, other than around 5 days due to work travel, I’ve written 3 pages every day.

Here is how I do it: I get up in the morning, cuddle my cats and get some coffee and water. I sit down, most of the time I light a candle as I love the smell, then I switch on deep focus music and write.

On a good day it takes me 45 minutes. On a bad day, it takes me 1.5 hours. Let me explain what I mean by good and bad. On a good day, my thoughts flow onto the page and I don’t have to work for it. I don’t stop and think. There is no distraction. I just write what comes into my head. On a bad day, when I’m out of sync and not 100% myself, I notice it by the writing being like I am stuttering. I write a sentence or a word and then I stop and think. I get distracted.

This is not a bad thing, so with bad I do not mean that it doesn’t work or that I feel bad. It is a process and I have to go through it.

They are my thermostat

When it all flows and is nice and smooth, I’m good and happy. I’m creative and unblocked. When it doesn’t, I know I need to take better care of myself. During the rush of a busy life, we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves and our creativity. The morning pages are how I find out if I am stuck and how I get unstuck.

The struggle is real

When I am in that spot, and words are stuck and it is hard, I know I just have to keep going. There are probably things I need to resolve, work through and the pages are how to do it. It will get better and it will start being easy again.

They help me feel grounded

By now, it is a ritual. They anchor me and I feel grounded. When I am writing them, I am in my happy place. I can write about what drives me nuts, what I love, what I need. They are my safe space and show me the way. Like a best friend that you can trust with your life, I can write about anything I want.

The magic

I also know they are working for me as I started being creative again. I write, I paint, I play the piano. It is as if they unclogged my brain and now the creativity can flow again.

When I sit down to write them, I’m not consciously thinking about what can I write. I just start. Usually I start by writing about how I feel or what I did yesterday. That gets it going. The second page is where it starts to slowly get easier and if I listen to myself, I come up with creative things. Ideas for articles for example or other things that I find interesting to think about. Then I write about it. However it is not something I force myself to do, I just document what goes on in my head. I approach it with child-like curiosity. That is where the magic is. At the end of page 3 I’m always surprised and a little bit sad that I have to stop and start my day.

My tips

If you haven’t heard of morning pages and you are curious, I recommend to just start without expectations. Take a sheet of paper and just write. Write what comes into your head. Start with 5 minutes and just write. Even if it is ‘I don’t know what to write this is stupid’ for 5 minutes. At some point you will get bored of it. If you notice that, write about it!

Just get started and let me know how it goes!

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Last Update: December 02, 2023