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What to do with Morning Pages?

I say that Morning Pages are a form of meditation. And just as we cannot repeat a meditation, we do not need to review our Morning Pages. I often joke, "First cremate the pages, then worry about the body." I have had people burn, shred, and bury their Morning Pages. Speaking for myself, I saved my Morning Pages for many years, saying "If I ever write a memoir, I'll need them." However, when I did write a memoir-- Floor Sample-- I found that I didn't consult the Morning Pages. My memories were vivid, probably because I had written Morning Pages. I believe the pages render us present in our life. Obsessing over our pages renders us self-centered-- so I believe in "write them and let them go."

37 Comments on "What to do with Morning Pages?"

  1. S BOSQUE says:

    I am saving mine to use in art journal-ling and collage. It’s another way of contacting and motivating the same creative spark, and at the same time, a burying ritual.

  2. I have read “Floor Sample 4 times and love it each time, I keep thinking I will start writing, because I want to write but am 75 and havent started yet.
    You are a amazing woman.
    Linda Rouse

    • Profile photo of Fiona O'Brien

      Just thought I’d mention, Mary Wellesley, a very popular and successful English author of women’s fiction didn’t start writing until she was in her 70’s. The Camomile Lawn was her breakthrough novel I think. Hope this inspires you!
      Fiona O’Brien

  3. I keep my pages for the ideas that spill into and out of them– for those, I have gone back. Many songs buds, book ideas, and story nuggets have arisen from the MP.

  4. Oh good, now I’m free to dispose of 200 yellow legal pads of M.P.s! Always wondered what to do with ’em realizing i would never find the time or interest to review them. Thanks Julia!

  5. For me the morning pages are a form of sorcery – their really do shift life completely.

    I do six pages, but leave a blank line in better each line that way I can go back and draw pictues of what I have written. seems to resolve all of the outstanding issues a little deeper.

  6. I keep my pages and go back to them regularly, because I often use my MP to work on writing that is freaking me out for whatever reason. The MP works because “it’s just Morning Pages, I’m not really working on this thing.” One of the reasons I love MP so much 🙂

  7. I just left mine in Germany were I lived for almost 7 years and felt kind of sad to leave them behind, but I think that is just human nature to hold on to memories. Never the less we have to live in the present!

  8. I never look back at my Morning Pages and am glad to hear that you think of them as a form of meditation. I always feel so much more clear minded and often even relieved after writing them.

    I love your book and just recently found your blog. Looking forward to reading more! Just curious: how do you feel about the website 750words.com? Have you ever addressed that?

  9. Leigh Osgood says:

    I too keep the mp for the ideas that emerge though I also write notes for my idea jar so I can quickly review ideas. Sometimes I cpoy out a new affirmation and write it on the white board I have in the studio. So far I’ve held onto my MP the same way I have kept early paintings: as a reminder that I am making progress and that there is a purpose in continuing to do the work.

    • Profile photo of CHart

      I am a newbie to this online blog community. In Week 1, I learned about negative blocks to creativity and have been told by others reading the book version to never look back. With a week of Morning Pages started this new year, I have learned to take the good with the bad as my thoughts flow. Your suggestion about writing notes for your idea jar is most welcome. I found that my morning pages were not entirely negative and full of ideas for future writing topics. The idea of the white board for copying new affirmations is inspiring and feels like a balm giving me permission to apply words from my negative brain dump to my positive brainstorm.
      To me this is simply a spin on the tutorial suggestion to turn each core negative into a positive until the final result is positive.

  10. Profile photo of Diana Lee Friedline

    So I am now back to writing in the mornings, a habit I had years ago and had abandoned. It felt good to get the day started with 3 pages of mental dross and stream-of-consciousness to clear out the cobwebs. Thank you, Ms. Julia, for offering your generous service to those of us who are feeling lame, out-to-lunch, stuck-in-the mud or “whatever” because………. well just because! Thanks! And you have a good day out there in cyberland. Looking forward to reading your blog. And doing the entire course online and home with sis and your books. Diana Lee

  11. The honesty that comes from writing morning pages
    Is not for the eyes of others. Another good reason
    to let them go.

  12. Sonya Messer says:

    Every three months of writing morning pages I rip them up and discard them. I purge them. I’ve kept only 2 pages because I had a great insight and inspiration. I found this to be freeing and cleansing.

    I’ve been writing morning pages for four years now. I can imagine having to go back to them for reference. By doing this exercise on a daily basis, I found that my creativity has been released into my daily work.

  13. I can’t believe I’m just now discovering your blog — so glad you have one. I’m reading Floor Samples now — about half way through. Thank you for writing it and sharing your path — it is inspiring. Thanks to you, I’m trying to remember to listen to God and do what he tells me each day — one day at a time. (My challenge is having the courage to do what I ‘think” he is telling me even though I’m not 100% sure if it is him or me).
    Love the morning pages — on those few days when I’ve gotten up early enough to do them before leaving for work I’ve found them to be a good way of clearing the clutter from my brain before starting the day.
    Please keep blogging.

  14. Profile photo of Hildur

    I keep my morning pages. I am currently working on a book idea and I am referring to the pages that is both difficult and also reveals to me how much have changed for me during the years of writing them. Thank you for your wonderful and helpful book and program The artist way. I am really glad I came across your book in the year 2000. I love it and I am once again working my way through it.

  15. Hello from Barcelona! Today celebrating that I have been writing my MP during the last 7 years. Some of the gifts from doing them…no matter what: poems, songs, tales, jokes…and three theater pieces. And, on the top of it, an amazing feeling of being connected and be doing “the right thing”. Sanity. Thanks Julia!!

  16. Mine have travelled with me from Washington State to Southern California and are now in my parents’ basement in Ontario, Canada.

    I think I may just get rid of them soon, but I haven’t had the heart quite yet.

  17. Elizabeth Nolen says:

    Amazing work to compliment my Spiritual journey! I’m in week 5 and after reading what to do with MP, I’m wondering if for any reason they’ll be needed within the 12 weeks? If not, happy to discard! Thank you, Julia!

  18. Elizabeth Nolen says:

    Amazing work to compliment my Spiritual journey! After reading what to do with MP, I’m wondering if they’ll be needed at any point with in the 12 weeks – I’m in week 5? If not, happy to discard them! Thank you, Julia!

  19. When I initially commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me
    when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I get 4
    emails with the exact same comment. Is there an easy method you are able to remove me from that
    service? Thanks a lot!

  20. Kathleen Carroll says:

    Can you write more than 3 pages??? Im just starting and I’m used to writing in a journal when I feel like, every few days or so and now I’ll start doing these MP every morning – but I want to keep writing sometimes. Is that ok or would it be counter productive in some way. like maybe I’d want to quit writing MP bc I’ve been overdoing it in the beginning, kind of thing.

  21. Daniel Pask says:

    Enjoying travelling the Artist’s Way, but my questions are two: What if my morning pages are night pages and what if they are typed on a computer and not hand-written?

  22. Thank you. I have been writing morning pages for 17,years and am decluttering my studio having grown and worked as a textile artist and historian for nearly all that time. I have achieved so many of the goals, and the pages were my first Habit that still makes me realise I can change any habit. I shall build a lovely bonfire of the books at dusk under a sickle moon and dance around it!

  23. Piece of writing writing is also a excitement, if you be familiar with then you can write
    or else it is difficult to write.

  24. Julia, what format do you use for writing morning pages? yellow pad, hard back journal, spiral

    notebook etc.?

  25. What about typing the morning pages in an online journal? When I first got the book a decade ago, you only recommended hand-writing. Is that still your recommendation?

  26. I have an erratic schedule because I am on call nights. When I’m called in, I do the pages after sleeping a few hours. Or if I sleep through the night, I do them upon awakening. This schedule is working out well. Julia, you’ve never taken us night shifters into MP consideration, so thought I’d mention my remedy.

  27. When I’m writing my morning pages, if I come up with something amazingly insightful, I’ll circle/underline it and also re-write it in the top or left margins. Those “Margin Notes” as I call then, I end up reviewing at some point and typing them out. They’re usually one-liners and that’s all I need. An example of a one-liner from my Margin Notes: “Fear is just the shadow of your untrue self”.

  28. Profile photo of Deb Marvin

    I have been doing morning pages for well over ten years and never really thought about what to do with them as I filled notebook after notebook. I am about to embark on a major declutter and simplify and I suspect my morning pages will not survive. I am considering having a personal (me only) ceremony and burning them, collecting the ashes and then setting them to drift down a river. Seems like a fitting farewell to this part of my history. There is a wealth of discovery in those pages but I no longer need the paper on which it is written. Committing to the page brought so much more to my heart. I continue my journey every day (or most days) and probably will until I am ready to transition to the next part of my journey.

  29. Most people on this forum seem to be writers, but as a visual artist I find them an incredible way to access ideas for paintings which would otherwise fleet through my consciousness and be gone. Thank you!

  30. Terry Thompson says:

    There is a sense of security and self assurance that goes along with the effort of morni g pages.

    Been at this since August 13, 2004.

    Forget birthdays and anniversaries but remember that!

  31. Unlike (it seems) everyone else, I take my pages directly to the shredder when I finish each day. I’m not an artist, but sometimes generate some nuggets of wisdom that I want to save; I just transcribe them to the back of my notebook. I find that my writing is freer and less self-censored than it would be if I kept it to read later.

  32. THANKS so much — this is helpful to hear!

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