The practice of “morning pages” has been hovering in the periphery of my Internet reading lately. It’s the exercise of handwriting three pages stream-of-consciousness, first thing in the morning. My initial thoughts were similar to those expressed in this Guardian column. Morning pages—sounds like something my high school English teacher would do, who also made up her own folk songs and sang them for the school vibrato. Turns out, though, that tons of people swear by it.
I still haven’t done morning pages myself. I have a toddler. I can’t do anything first thing in the morning except make coffee and read Where the Wild Things Are. But the concept reminded me that freewriting is something I find helpful, and I’ve started to do more of that.
I’ve found freewriting helpful in two ways:
- Making a practice of it first thing when I get to work helps clear my head, organize my thoughts for the day, and get ready to work.
- I find it helpful when I’m spinning my wheels on a particular piece of work. I usually start by writing, stupidly, this is what I need to do, and go from there. It helps.
So whether it’s morning pages or just a little freewriting to prime the engine at work, you might want to try it yourself. These writing exercises can really open up your mind if you give them a chance.