Morning Pages (& How To Make The Most Of Them)

If you’re struggling to maintain focus, or to be productive, or just to start your day off on the right foot, I’d encourage you to start the practice of morning pages. To learn more about what they are and how they can help you, as well as how you can best implement them, read on.


This is habit #4 in my "How I Changed My Life In 30 Days" series.

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Morning pages | What they are & how to do them

When I turned 34 this year I challenged myself to adopt a new habit every month for 12 months. You can read my original post to hear why I’m doing it and how I’m deciding which habits to test out. But, in essence, I’m trying to be a better, more disciplined person.

The idea of morning pages is taken from the book “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron, which outlines how to do it and why it’s so important.

Having heard it mentioned several times online, I finally borrowed a copy from the local library and, before I’d even finished reading it, I dove into the practice.

Let me say at the outset that it hasn’t been plain sailing. While I did stick with it for the full 31 days, there were definitely times I didn’t want to. There were times I really disliked doing it, there were times it almost broke me.

But I persevered.

To hear my story, so you have a better idea of what to expect if you start, watch this video, and then scroll down for my top tips on adopting the habit of writing morning pages.

OK, so you’ve heard the horrors but you’re prepared to face your fears anyway. How can you ensure the best chance for success?

Top Tips for Completing Morning Pages

1. Do not disturb

The first thing I’d recommend is that you do it distraction-free. I get up about an hour before my daughter so I can completely concentrate. I put my phone on silent and face down so I can’t see or hear any notifications. The TV is off, the laptop is shut down… It’s just me and my notebook. Sometimes I even put headphones on (with no sound) just to try block out any outside noise. (Earplugs would work too; I just don’t like them.) Basically, if I think anything will interrupt my flow or cause me to stop writing for any reason, I eliminate it if I can.

2. Dive right in

Another thing I’d recommend is setting your notebook out the night before. Each evening before I leave my desk, I slide away my laptop, get out my morning pages notebook, open it up to the page I’ll be starting on, and leave my pen on top. In the morning, when I sit down, it’s the first thing I see, and there’s nothing to stop me from diving straight in.

3. Don't drink & write

And my final tip is to drink beforehand and eat afterwards. If you’re a coffee or tea drinker, don’t pour yourself a cup and bring it with you. You’ll end up stopping to take sips, thus disrupting the flow of your writing. Drink a small glass of water to hydrate yourself beforehand, and then get writing.

I’d also recommend saving your breakfast until afterwards. For me, I find that if I eat first, two things happen: One, I’m much more likely to get caught up in something else and, eventually, completely forget about my writing. And two, sitting for a prolonged period immediately after eating doesn’t make me feel good. I prefer to move around a bit, to aid with digestion. So I save the eating until afterwards.

My morning pages

No need to adjust your set, I've blurred it for privacy. 😉

Looking back over those, they’re probably great tips to keep in mind anytime you want to tackle any task – eliminate distractions, remove obstacles, make it as easy as possible to start, stay hydrated, avoid feeling sluggish on a full stomach, and re-fuel as soon as you’re done.

As long as you keep those tips in mind, and you’re prepared for the possibility of facing some harsh home truths, you’ll be able to push through to the part where you have a much better understanding of yourself and your days will suddenly become much more productive, focused, and meaningful.

Morning pages will drop you right in the middle of a jungle… but then provide you with the directions to find your way home.

Are you brave enough to try them? 😉


P.S. If you want to follow along with my challenges, and maybe take them on yourself, join the Facebook group:

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