Journaling can be an amazing tool for self-development. But if you’re a perfectionist, building a journaling habit can be difficult. Maybe you’ve tried journaling before, but you wanted to edit everything you wrote, so you gave up. Or maybe you’re afraid to “ruin” a perfect blank notebook by filling it up with your thoughts. Sound familiar? If so, an approach called morning pages might be exactly what you need to start journaling without self-criticism or anxiety.


Morning Pages: The Basics

Morning Pages were first popularized through Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way. The morning pages approach to journaling is very simple: just write three pages every morning. You can write anything you want – the idea is to capture your stream-of-consciousness inner monologue shortly upon waking. If you don’t know what to write, then you can write about having nothing to say. There are no right or wrong topics. Morning pages are about getting your self-critical mind out of the way and just writing.

Morning pages are for your eyes alone. They don’t have to be well-written. Spelling mistakes, grammar errors, and awkward turns of phrase are all fine. When you do morning pages, you give yourself permission to write messily and imperfectly. It’s also okay if your pages are repetitive and boring sometimes. You’ll probably come up with more to say than you think you will, but there’s no need to put pressure on yourself to come up with brilliant insights every day.


The Benefits of Morning Pages

Writing morning pages might seem like a tedious chore at first, especially if you’re not used to writing in a journal regularly. But this simple habit has a lot of benefits packed into it.

First and foremost, morning pages put you in touch with your inner self. As we get older, many of us start tuning out our inner voice, and this can make it harder to live in an authentic way. When you start writing daily morning pages, you might discover some emotions, attitudes, and desires that you didn’t know you were holding onto.

Writing morning pages also helps you clear your mind. If you keep your innermost self pent up all the time, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by mental “junk.” Writing every day helps you clean out the junk and focus on what’s really important to you. This, in turn, can lead to better decision-making.

Finally, writing morning pages helps you move towards your goals. When you start the day by reflecting on your deepest dreams and wishes, you’ll be less likely to procrastinate. You’ll also be more likely to push yourself out of your comfort zone.


How to Make Morning Pages Work for You

Want to try writing morning pages for yourself? Here’s how you can build the habit successfully – and make it stick.

Try to write every day, around the same time. This gets you into a good habit of writing morning pages.

Always write with pen and paper, and never your computer. Getting in the habit of real handwriting will help you go deeper into yours thoughts.

Set a timer or choose the number of pages you want to write. It is okay to be flexible, based on your schedule.

Morning pages can be a great tool for gaining personal insights and improving your life. If you’re intrigued by the idea of keeping a journal, why not give morning pages a try?