We all have problems and challenges we have to deal with and, by thinking carefully about solutions, we can learn to overcome them and discover a positive outlook on life.
When your brain is buzzing, it’s hard to figure out which thoughts and ideas are more important. They all seem like a continuous stream of useless blabber. However, psychologists say that all the thoughts and ideas that enter the brain are important. They reveal meaningful self-insight and can even influence your decisions.
The next time your wandering mind surprises you with dreams or seemingly random memories, put your pen to paper and write in the morning pages.
Do you know what morning pages are?
Morning pages are three pages that record stream of consciousness thoughts marked by a lack of punctuation. Julia Cameron introduced the concept of morning pages in her book The Artist’s Way, in which she teaches others how to take advantage of their skills and talents.
Sit down with a piece of paper and write everything that crosses your mind. Write and don’t stop until you get to the end of page three. Let your mind go and write down every random thought that comes to your mind. This will allow you to untangle your mind and focus on other things.
If your brain is nagging you, get rid of those annoying thoughts and ideas and make way for creative, constructive thinking.
Keep on reading to find out how you can get better at writing morning pages. This will come in handy if you haven’t done any writing for a long time.
1. Prime your brain the night before
The brain is always dancing to its inner music, which is why you have to direct the subconscious mind to focus on the thoughts and ideas that lead to success. Set the brain for optimal performance. Put simply, prime what comes out of the stream of consciousness. When you write in the morning pages the next day, you’ll have fresh insight into the complicated situation.
Are you ready to give it a try? This is what you need to do:
- Identify the most challenging assignment – The most complex project is the one that demands all your attention and creativity. Make sure you stay focused on what’s most important. It might require a lot of brain power.
- Get through the tough assignment – Start working on the project at the end of the workday. Select a place that’s free from distractions and get some work done. It’s okay if you relax a little bit afterward. Watch some TV or enjoy a good meal. Just don’t do anything that keeps you mentally active.
- Don’t finish – Maybe you don’t like the idea of leaving something unfinished. It’s not a sign of laziness or loss of interest. Make sure to leave things unfinished. Outline the project. Make a partial draft, at least.
- Sleep – You can solve big problems in your sleep. Let the theta brain waves do their thing.
- Wake up and dump your thoughts onto paper – The most difficult problems are solved at night, and you often have better insight in the morning.
There you have it. This is the priming method. If your own way of solving problems doesn’t work, try this method, which was developed by chess prodigy Josh Waitzkin. Command your subconscious before bed by thinking about the things you need to solve. The morning pages will prepare you for an excellent day.
2. Create a writing ritual and stick to it
Do you know the best way to keep at it? Create your own writing habit. The practice for tomorrow goes like this: Wake up and don’t do anything else. Grab a notebook and write the pages.
Writing morning pages is a daily habit. Perhaps you don’t see it as an important part of your habits. Morning pages are fantastic tools for creative problem-solving. Your writing will take you to a good place.
“It’s a good idea to create a writing ritual for a more focused, productive experience. Write the next day, and the next day after that, and the day after that. You have something to say.” – Says Luisa Brenton, head writer at GrabMyEssay.
Writing morning pages is supposed to be simple. There’s nothing complicated about it. You’ll see that the best way to go about morning pages is with a ritual. Right now, you need a daily and meditative practice. Make sure to write every morning. Writing won’t feel exhausting, so you should better get to it. Don’t think about time from a quantity standpoint. You should better focus on being productive.
3. Don’t check your spelling or grammar–editing’s not allowed
Morning pages aren’t meant to be writing. They are simply the first draft of something, the flow of thoughts in the conscious mind when you begin writing.
What you write on those three pages isn’t writing, and it certainly isn’t art. Morning pages are an exercise. You move your hand across the page and write without paying attention to grammar or spelling. This unstructured, unedited writing, if you prefer to call it that way, reflects your feelings and observations. Everything should be included.
Try writing your morning pages in the default Notes application in your iPhone. If you prefer pen and paper, that’s perfectly fine. There are many benefits to writing the old-fashioned way. Not only does it fire up your brain, but also it sparks creativity. The entire process keeps you in touch with the action of writing. It’s a deep connection between thought and language. You can unlock the same artistic creativity as, say, using paint. After three pages, you’ll find it impossible to stop writing.
Don’t improve the technical aspects of your writing; this could backfire on you. Free yourself from perfectionism. No one will read your morning papers. They’re for your eyes only.
The bottom line
Writing morning pages is helpful when it comes to working through the issues that feel overwhelming. If you wish to be productive, then you’ll have to resort to the tricks explained in this article. Prime your brain for better performance, create your own writing ritual and don’t pay too much attention to grammar and spelling.
Give yourself a well-deserved productivity boost. Once you finish the three pages, go through everything you’ve written, and make sure the information goes into your brain.