This is the first in my series “Sara Tries It,” which was inspired by Refinery 29’s Try Living With Lucie. In this series, Lucie spends 5 days trying something new. The thing I felt was missing from Lucie’s series was time. In my opinion, 5 days is just enough time to gain an initial first impression of the thing she tries. I believe there is a lot to be gained from trying something new for 30 or more days and really implementing it into your life. My first challenge? Morning Pages.
Morning Pages consists of writing 3 pages every morning. The purpose is to clear your head before you begin your day. It can also help you plan out your day and focus on your goals. You must keep on writing even if you feel like you have nothing to say. For the past 30 days I just used pens and paper, but there’s also an online version here. That website calculates your word count and lets you know when you have reached the 3 pages threshold.
I did not reach the clarity that others have claimed to gain as a result of Morning Pages. At first I thought I was doing something wrong. I questioned the content and speed of my writing. I soon realized that you can’t fail at Morning Pages (as long as you write 3 pages every morning). Since I have anxiety, I have thoughts that continue to bug me throughout the day, even if I had written them down earlier. Morning Pages doesn’t solve that problem for me.
However, Morning Pages has helped me acknowledge those anxieties. You know, the ones I had been pushing to the back of my head day in and day out. Morning Pages encouraged me to bring them to the light of day. Writing them out doesn’t always lessen the anxiety, but it does make me feel better. I could almost hear my brain sighing each time I wrote out a fear.
Other than spilling my anxieties, I’ve also used Morning Pages to plan out my day. It’s helpful to brainstorm ideas by forcing yourself to continue writing even if you don’t think you have any good ideas. The good ideas will come eventually.
Pros and Cons
The best part about Morning Pages is the privacy. This isn’t a journal, diary, or planner. You don’t have to write legibly or with any kind of structure. You can burn them, shred them, or just keep them in a drawer somewhere. I love having a place to dump all my thoughts without worrying about being judged or ever having to reread them again.
The hardest part about Morning Pages is fitting it into your routine. Unless you write quickly, this could take you 25-40 minutes every morning. Make sure you have enough time to complete these pages or it will become a chore.
Initially I thought I would continue this after the 30 days ended (see video below). Since then, it’s been hard to keep it up. Because I wasn’t gaining clarity daily, but instead over time, it became hard to justify continuing it. I wasn’t receiving a “return” on my investment of time quickly enough.
I believe part of the reason is because I have been unemployed since I moved. I have no real structure to my day anymore. After I find work, I think it will be easier to work this back into my routine. Until then, I have been completing Morning Pages only when I feel like it.
Ultimately, I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t try Morning Pages. If anything, it will help you be more mindful every day. Try it out and let me know your experience in the comments!