Sergej Grilborzer
Sergej Grilborzer
>Wanted to write tech stuff - can't stop babbling about film

Trying out Morning Pages for 30 days

Trying out Morning Pages for 30 days
Photo Credit: Aaron Burden

I recently learned about “Morning Pages”. The concept is simple:

Handwrite three pages about ANYTHING you like. There are no rules what to write about. You are done as soon as you have three handwritten A4 pages.

The idea seemed like a mix of keeping diary and exercising mindfulness (two activities well known for being beneficial). One of the testimonies was “I’m doing it for a long time and people can tell when I missed my pages”. I decided to try it out for 30 days and track my experience in a journal.

There’ll be a final review, but I’d like to release the full journal in small bits. Let’s start with the first three days.

“Clear and a bit more at peace” - 15.07.2020

I feel .. clear and a bit more at peace. I had had felt clear before the writing session, but it can’t be too bad to reinforce this feeling.

I think .. filling a predetermined set of pages is a good writing exercise. My joy for writing reignited yesterday. I have a lot of ideas, so this is coming just in time.

It took .. ~35 minutes. I wrote at home, but I think I can manage to write the bulk of pages on my commute to work.

I want to .. get to work, but also do more writing.

“The pages are a kind of diary” - 16.07.2020

I feel .. good, productive and clear. In particular because of yesterday’s experience watching “Your Name”.

I think .. the pages are a kind of diary/ organizer for me. I mostly recap yesterday, jot thoughts about today and fill the last page with something random. I wrote about mental health and habits this time.

It took .. me 30 minutes. I wrote 1,75 pages at home and finished the rest in the bus. The drive was a bit bumpy, but alright considering I used the time productively.

I want to .. continue yesterday’s work, but I need to get on with my master’s expose.

“Why it’s 3 pages” - 17.07.2020

I feel .. good and decided to have a day off.

I think .. it’s fascinating how fun this habit turned out to be. It’s been only three days and I’m ready to advertise for it on the internet!

Of course, it could just be “beginners’ enthusiasm” (the equivalent of going to the gym five times a week for the first week), but I feel like it’s deeper. My intuition suggests that Morning Pages are healthy and beneficial.

It’s the same as the gym: You went for a workout and enjoyed it. That’s why you came back. Time goes by and you might not feel as inclined to workout anymore. That doesn’t mean that workouts got any less good for you though. Humans just tend to mix-up what’s good for them and what’s not.

It took .. 30 minutes. I even wrote a quarter page more than “I had to”.

I want to .. continue todays Morning Pages. I would’ve written more if it wasn’t for the limit of three pages. I wasn’t sure why it’s supposed to be three, but I’ve got an idea:

  • One page is too dense. You’d have to prioritize what to write about. This is an important skill, but not our goal here.

  • Two pages don’t cut it either. I noticed that it’s usually “easy” to fill the first two pages. It requires a hunch of self-reflection to find a topic for the third page. That seems like a good thing to me.

  • Writing more than three pages could be alright, but maybe it’s helpful to set a limit, because it’s easy to get lost. I guess it can be exploitable to write really long fold Morning Pages and feel productive. The practice is beneficial, assuming it enriches our life quality, but most of us have other responsibilities beside scribbling like mad men.

This is of course just my opinion and one of many possible conclusions. What are your thoughts?