I Tried Writing in a Notebook Every Morning

Picking up a pen and jotting down how much you desperately wish you’d gotten five more minutes of sleep probably isn’t the first thing you want to do when you wake up in the morning. But for some people, writing is just the morning pick-me-up you might need to start your day off right.

Writing “morning pages” is a stream of consciousness writing practice that’s been used by writers for decades to improve creativity and ease the flow of ideas. While no official studies have been conducted to test what happens if you make this a habit, it’s a practice that’s been kept up for a reason. So, I decided to test out the idea for myself by doing morning pages for five days straight in hopes of increasing my creativity and reducing my levels of anxiety.

While I thought every day was going to feel the same and that my nonsensical morning writings weren’t going to amount to anything, I surprisingly proved myself wrong.

Four Things I Learned:

  • I realized I ask myself a lot of questions, mostly about things I’m worried about or everyday thoughts I’m unsure about. It was strange to think how many thoughts were buzzing through my head before I even crawled out of bed. But, this inspired me to pause and take the time to answer each question instead of worrying about them all at once.

  • I was able to work through issues I had and thoughts that overwhelmed me in my everyday life. Even though it took me a couple of days, eventually I got to a point where I didn’t just pause to sort through my problems in the morning. I became better at solving issues in my mind whenever they came about.

  • Writing became easier and I wrote more in my spare time. While not everyone is a writer, doing morning pages brought out my creativity in a way that didn’t feel forced  — which can be difficult when you have work and midterms to worry about. Doing the pages made me want to write more and express myself more creatively in general.

  • By the end of this experiment, I felt way more relaxed. Not only was I feeling more creative, but I was happier and waking up in the morning didn’t feel as draining as before. I was excited to pick up the pen and put down my thoughts because those five or ten minutes of writing actually turned out to be pretty peaceful (no matter how much I was worrying about classes).

Having gained so much from writing morning pages for only a short period of time, I wondered what it might be like to continue them and see if they have any long-term effects as well.

My Goals for the Future:

  • Think more clearly and dedicate time to answering big (or small) questions I have about my life instead of letting them swirl around my mind.

  • Stop overthinking so much. This one might take a while, but I think it’s a goal we can all strive for when it comes to managing our thoughts and ideas.

  • Be more alert and present. It’s easy to be a zombie in the morning and miss half of the day, but writing a few pages in the morning might help to wake me up and

  • Keep up my creative streak and write more. Even if writing isn’t for you, doing morning pages might inspire you to express yourself creatively through some other outlet that’s both productive and fun.

So what is the big takeaway here? Writing morning pages is faster and easier than keeping a journal, and it can end up being a pretty fun way to start the day. Not only that, but it might actually make you happier, inspire you, and give you a few minutes to relax in the morning without hitting the snooze button for a third time.

If you’re still not sure whether morning pages are for you, give it a try anyway. Keep a pen and some paper handy so you can jot down a few ideas of your own the next few mornings. You just might surprise yourself.