How Exactly Do Morning Pages Change People’s Lives?
Morning Pages, a great technique that gets you into the habit of daily writing, offers a whole bunch of benefits: it improves your mental health, unlocks your creativity, has a positive impact on your emotional wellbeing.
Writing Morning Pages makes you feel creative, inspired, calm, curious, thoughful, self-aware, energetic, challenged, and rewarded.
But don’t get too excited. It’s not always rainbows and butterflies. Writing about traumatic or stressful events makes you feel distressed and affects your mood. Short-term. But in the long-term, expressive writing improves your emotional and even physical health. It’s a proven fact.
We decided to explore the benefits of daily writing by looking at people’s personal experiences. We found 10 blog stories published by different authors about their experiences writing Morning Pages.
Here’s what they say about how exactly this writing practice has changed their lives for the better.
1. They set you up for the rest of the day.
“The real benefit of Morning Pages is that they set you up for the rest of the day. I’ve felt more together and less scattered since starting a Morning Pages practice. My mind is less chaotic, more focused. My creative ideas have a place. Writing one creative thought down tends to breed more. I’m essentially meditating each morning, but with pen and paper.”
Sara Wyland, fitness blogger.
2. I am in a dream job a year later.
“I started doing it in 2004. I was divorced, 40 pounds lighter, and in a dream job a year later.”
Mandy Stadtmiller, writer.
3. Morning pages added quality to my days.
“Besides the external rewards like higher productivity, I also felt my morning pages added quality to my days. That alone is inherently valuable. I noticed my Morning Pages:
- Kept my productivity up the rest of the day
- Reduced the feeling I was letting something fall through the cracks
- Made me feel more positive and capable for the rest of the day
- Helped me process worries weighing on my mind
- Captured new ideas for stories, blog posts, business strategies, and creative leisure activities
- Expressed emotions I hadn’t realized I was feeling
- Helped me complain less (at least aloud)
- Allowed me to be more forgiving of others
- Gave my morning a kickstart”
4. They had a great effect on my creativity.
“The thing is, I can’t think of another habit or practice that has had a greater effect on my creativity. There is a noticeable difference in the days that I do morning pages compared to days that I don’t. It literally feels like you are taking the fog of everything that’s on your mind and pushing it out of your head and onto the paper, and trapping it there, giving you an incredible feeling of clarity throughout the rest of the day.”
Daren Smith, film producer and screenwriter.
5. I’m regenerating parts of my brain. And becoming a better writer in the process.
“So as I continue to write longhand, new neural pathways and connections are being created in my brain, and that seems like a valuable part of the growth and development process to me. It’s like the starfish that can regenerate a severed limb. Only I’m regenerating parts of my brain. And becoming a better writer in the process. Hopefully. I’ll let you know how it goes.”
Michael D. Pollock, a Life Coach and blogger
6. I’m super freakin’ exciting by how good I feel.
“I have never felt as clear or as light as I have since I’ve started writing my Morning Pages. I have no idea when that happened, exactly, but I’m super freakin’ exciting by how good I feel.”
Shelby Abrahamsen, a small business owner.
7. I can really tune into what is going on in your mind.
“I like to think of my Morning Pages as a mindfulness practice. Even during a hectic day that is full of meetings and disruptions I still have a feeling of peace and accomplishment if I’ve done my 750 words in the morning. Writing in the morning also helps me to be more focused for the rest of the day. I can really tune into what is going on in my mind, and then also use that writing time to think out loud, troubleshoot problems, and work out thoughts and anxieties I have.
My morning pages became a starting point for new ideas, e.g. new functionality or experiences for our Blinkist products.”
Niklas Jansen, cofounder of Blinkist
8. “A-ha!” moments come more readily.
“Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised at how powerful Morning Pages proved, from day one, at calming anxieties, producing insights and resolving dilemmas. After all, the psychological benefits of externalising thoughts via journalling are well-established. And that bleary-eyed morning time has been shown to be associated with more creative thinking: with the brain’s inhibitory processes still weak, “A-ha!” moments come more readily.”
Oliver Burkeman, Guardian writer
9. Morning notes helped me see what I wanted to work on.
“Morning notes also let me look at my own life from a distance. I can now look at those 1.5 years and see what matters. I have more context. I remember more the important things that happened and what I want to achieve. Morning notes give me space every morning just for myself. I pause. I take a breath. I look at what happened in a broader context. It’s actually very different than meditation even though it works together very well with it. Meditation is about not acting and just observing yourself. Morning notes helped me see what I wanted to work on and understand that as much as I love kite-surfing and paragliding I needed to start working hard again.”
Loic Le Meur, founder of Leade.rs
10. The positivity really was seeping out of my eyes...
“People didn’t see me as cold and unfriendly. I was more comfortable talking to others and getting to know them. I was less stiff and weird. I didn’t hold onto things that bugged me. I communicated more effectively. My Resting Bitch Face seemed to not be alienating people. No one was coming up to me and asking, “What’s wrong?”
The positivity really was seeping out of my eyes… and pores, and mouth, and nose. Positivity mucus was improving my daily pessimistic existence.”
Ainslie CaswellFollow, Writer / playwright
And a bonus benefit from our team at Morning Pages:
11. Building our own mobile app.
The idea of Morning Pages inspired us to create our own Morning Pages, a mobile app for iPhone and iPad.