We’ll use this page to share tips, tricks and insights into using Morning Pages. Feel free to add your comments as you work with Morning Pages.
Julia Cameron envisions Morning Pages as a way to clear out the clutter in your head to set yourself up for the best day ever. Think of it like combing your hair and brushing your teeth before heading out to work in the morning.
Doing MPs is a practice that you have to learn and adapt to your own life. It takes some thinking through and planning.
Do I have to do Morning Pages first thing in the morning?
No, but you should try to do them before you dive into your day, even if it means getting up a half hour earlier.
I (Chris) am a morning person. I wake up raring to go, so MPs are an easy thing to fit into my life.
Cee might get out of bed in the morning, but it takes her a good two hours before her head is really engaged. She handles a lot of mundane tasks before she sits down to write.
Cee suggests that if you aren’t a morning person, that you can try to take time right before bed to do your mental decluttering. If will probably help you sleep better, and give you a head start the next day.
The important thing is to get the practice going, and to try to do it at about the same time every day.
Where to write?
Try to not only set aside time for your MPs, but also a place to write. Can you find a space in your home where you can write undisturbed for 15 to 30 minutes? Or is it better for you to head to a coffee shop on your way to work? Can you get up and do the same thing on your days off?
Lay out the ground rules for friends and family. Get them to agree to leave you alone during your writing time. And stay firm about that. You’re only talking about a few minutes a day. They’ll survive.
Turn off your phone and ignore your email.
Turn off your phone and don’t check your email until AFTER you’ve done your MPs. If you don’t, you’ll get distracted and lose your discipline. You can’t declutter your head when you’re jamming new things into it at the same time. All of that can wait a couple of minutes.
Keep them private.
MPs are a private dumping ground. Never, ever share them with anyone else, unless you make a deliberate choice to do so.
Don’t re-read them.
MPs are a place to vent and throw things away. You wouldn’t empty your trash bins on your kitchen floor and double check that you really wanted to throw all that muck out before taking the bin to the curb. The same thing applies here.
There will be time during this class that you will be told to go back and read something. That’s okay. Just don’t make a habit of doing that because it gives power to your inner critic.
Dealing with distractions!
Things are going to surface when you’re writing. That’s the purpose of MPs. That’s a good thing. Some of the ideas that pop into your head are actionable. I keep a small notepad nearby for those, and just jot down a quick reminder. I don’t let those thoughts interrupt my writing, but I’m also not willing to forget about them. Jot it down then turn back to your pages.
I don’t know what to write.
That will happen. When that happens to me (Chris), I write things like “I’m feeling really twitchy and restless today. Don’t know why but I am.” I’ll try to capture my feelings, but if the doesn’t work I’ll write, “I don’t know what to write. Nothing is connecting in my head.” Just start with something like that and keep writing, even if all that you do is fill the page with the same sentence over and over again. Eventually your head will rebel and start spitting out more relevant things.
I already keep a journal / diary.
I (Chris) have been doing Morning Pages off and on for years now. I’m someone who journals daily, so Morning Pages are easier for me than for anyone who is facing a blank piece of paper for the first time. That being said, I only use MPs when I feel like I need them (and when I’m doing this class). My journal normally takes care of cleaning out my head. I journal throughout the day, but I always start with a morning entry just as I wake up. What sets it aside from MPs is that my journal entry doesn’t always run to three pages. In fact, it seldom does. MPs force you to declutter.