Morning Pages – Clearing the Head Clutter

Morning pages — if you already do them, you know their benefits.

If you don’t do morning pages or haven’t heard of them, read on.

I learned about morning pages through Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. It’s one way to work through the clutter that can fill your mind and stump your writing (or any creative) progress.

In the image included here, I have a copy of The Artist’s Way as well as The Artist’s Way Morning Pages Journal. There is no real reason to purchase the journal, I simply like that it follows along with the book (if you’re interested in a 12-week program to increase your creativity), and it allows 3-pages-per-day to fill in for those 12 weeks.

Morning pages are simply journal pages you do first thing in the morning (for best results).

The best benefit of morning pages – no thinking! The morning pages are meant to clear your head space before you fully wake up and start any creative activity.

The morning pages are stream of consciousness and never for anyone else to see.

Decluttering your mind of whatever filled it while you were sleeping allows you to focus quicker when you move into your day.

How to do morning pages:

  • wake up
  • roll over
  • grab the journal and pen
  • open to the next blank page
  • write — whatever flows out of your fingertips

Of course you can vary the process depending on your life – bathroom rituals might take priority. You may prefer to grab a cup of coffee. Maybe you want to sit at a desk to write. The earlier you can start writing, the better, though. Get the clutter out and move on!

Writing three pages before I’m fully awake is easier than writing them any other time of the day, because once the day begins, it’s so easy to drift off and think about things on the to do list.

I truly feel that morning pages ‘clear the clutter’ out of my head so I can get to the words I need. Like shoveling a path to the car on a snow day — if the snow isn’t cleared I can still get to the car, but it’s a struggle. So it’s best to clear a path to be most productive!

What writing habit do you find useful to clear your head clutter?

Lisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who enjoys working with businesses of all sizes. She loves researching topics, interviewing experts, and helping companies and individuals tell their stories. You can connect with her on LinkedInFacebook, AlignableInstagram, and Twitter.

7 thoughts on “Morning Pages – Clearing the Head Clutter

  1. If I wrote first thing in the morning I would lose my reading time. I read in bed for half an hour every morning while hubby takes the dog to the park and buys a paper. If I didn’t have that 30mins peace I would be grumpy all day. Sometimes a poem pops into my head and I write instead so I have to have a pen and paper handy but as I don’t have a novel on the go I just read other people’s. Mind you, sometimes it is hard to stop and get out of bed to make breakfast.

  2. Lisa , been writing since the sixties , been journaling since the seventies , been doing the morning pages since the 90s , now it’s practice and discipline , it’s therapeutic not religious, i’ve grown in it . As an artist, it’s helpful for me to see and know WTF i think about through this conscious stream winding out of the river of my dreams and meditations .
    I’m a musician and composer , i pan for gold in deep waters with a multitude of prospectors , the joy is in the discovery of each nugget. The pages are a pleasure to get to, i read them months, and sometimes years later , i’m getting better all the time .

  3. Thank you for this reminder. I have always journaled and still do not extensively but on a daily basis. I write a blog twice a week and have two website and there I rejoice because they are private I can express my true life and also the faith which undergirds EVERYTHING. Blog is encouraging.

  4. Journal writing has saved my life. As a quiet, introspective child, writing brought me solace. As a young adult, it helped me figure out my own thinking and as an adult, it quieted by soul so that I could hear the voice of my God, showing me what is best. I have to get coffee out of the way and have my husband busy somewhere else in the house before I can sit down and write what is most important to me that day. Sometimes it is thoughts for others, especially friends and family, sometimes is an awareness of who I really am, sometimes it is an exclamation on the beauty around me. Without that 30 minutes, I spend the day looking for that 30 minutes.

  5. I’ve been journaling for years but only recently learned about Morning Pages and 750words, both of which I am trying to incorporate into a daily practice, ideally, or as much as possible. I did something similar, kind of a ‘mind dump’ – just never had a name for it. I definitely need to “clear the clutter” on a regular basis, that’s for sure! Nice reminder, thanks!

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