a creative journal for artists full of love and farts 🩷💨
Morning Pages are an opportunity to unburden your heart, mind, and soul from the thoughts and emotions that exist like static in the background of our lives.

The core of the Morning Pages technique is stream of consciousness writing. Jack Kerouac used this form when he wrote On the Road in three weeks flat on a typewriter scroll.

The goal is to have no interruption, no editing, or censorship between what arises in the mind and what is written down.

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

What Are Morning Pages?

Morning Pages is a journaling technique developed by Julia Cameron that uses stream of consciousness writing to purge the surface layer of thoughts, concerns, daily tasks, and mixed emotions that inhibit creative work.

So what is stream of consciousness writing?

“Stream-of-consciousness narration includes a lot of free association, looping repetitions, sensory observations, and strange punctuation and syntax.”

You do not need to write well or use correct grammar.

Morning Pages are a judgment-free zone. To this end, Julia recommends that you do not re-read them.

They aren’t meant to be analyzed, edited, or read — even by you.

How Do They Work?

“To retrieve your creativity, you need to find it. I ask you to do this by an apparently pointless process I call the morning pages

"Put simply [they] are three pages of longhand writing, strictly stream-of-consciousness...more ingloriously called brain drain, since that is one of their main functions.”

How to Write Morning Pages

In the beginning, Morning Pages generally take about 30 minutes to complete. As you get into a flow of writing, this will likely shorten to 15 minutes.

  1. Set aside time in the morning; block-out 30 minutes.
  2. Show up with pen and paper or your computer.
  3. Write three pages (or 750 words) of continuous stream of consciousness — let your thoughts flow uninterrupted from mind to page.

Lower the barrier to doing Morning Pages.

Tell yourself you only have to write one page, keep your notebook on your bed table, drink delicious coffee while you write. How can you reward yourself for showing up or make it super easy to do so?

What the Book Says About Morning Pages

The Artist’s Way is an unflinchingly spiritual book. Julia Cameron’s writing reads as poetic prose, drawing you in and lulling your child artist into a sense of belonging and curiosity.

I quite love it, but those with religious trauma may find the use of God frustrating in an otherwise secular creative text.

Here are the three major tenants Julia provides regarding the practice of Morning Pages, along with my favorite excerpts from each section:

There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages.

“All that angry, whiny, petty stuff that you write down in the morning stands between you and your creativity. Worrying about the job, the laundry, the funny knock in the car, the weird look in your lover’s eye — this stuff eddies through our subconscious and muddies our days. Get it on the pages.”

The Morning Pages are the primary tool of creative recovery.

“We are victims of our own internalized perfectionist, a nasty internal and eternal critic, the Censor, who resides in our (left) brain and keeps up a constant stream of subversive remarks that are often disguised as the truth.

“The Censor says wonderful things like: “You call that writing? What a joke. You can’t even punctuate. If you haven’t done it by now you never will. You can’t even spell. What makes you think you can be creative?” And on and on.”

Morning Pages are non-negotiable.

“We have this idea that we need to be in the mood to write. We don’t. Morning Pages will teach you that your mood doesn’t really matter.

"Some of the best creative work gets done on the days when you feel that everything you’re doing is just plain junk.

“Morning Pages will teach you to stop judging and just let yourself write.”

I was introduced to Morning Pages in college, thanks to my beloved mentor, Nynke Passi. In a Creative Process class, we used The Artist’s Way as our textbook.

The experience changed my life and the relationship I have with creativity.

It helped me to unburden shame and made me realize that I’m not alone — creativity has been stifled for countless people. There is incredible joy in recovering it, for no reason other than how wonderful it feels to create and bask in doing so.

Top 3 Benefits of Morning Pages

Become Friends with the Critic Inside

By and far, I think the most important benefit of Morning Pages is their ability to help you make friends with your internal critical voice.

That voice is not of you.

It is not natural to you. You learned it at some point, absorbed the narrative as truth, and replay it like a song. But it is not yours to keep.

That voice, I believe, is your artist child trying to protect you.

Turn to the voice and let it know that you no longer need this form of protection.

It is safe to be creative and vulnerable and wild and free; it is okay to make mistakes or create something silly.

You may find a part of yourself in need of extra love, soothing, and kindness.

Create Conversation with Yourself (Get Grounded)

When I regularly write Morning Pages, I feel in-tune with myself. It is incomparable to any other practice. This brain-dump allows me to release pent-up thoughts and emotions. Therefore:

  • my inner voice is much clearer
  • my intuition sharper
  • my love of life crisper

I have always been at odds with normalcy.

Over the years, I have learned to embrace the unique strangeness that I am.

I have learned that unique strangeness is what delights me; it’s where my passion and curiosity leads.

This closeness with myself also helps to protect my mental health from the world’s delusions of who I am. It reminds me that I get to decide.

And that systems of oppression are manmade and therefore ripe for dismantling.

I can write toward hope, and that is a powerful practice.

Experience Creative Flow More Often & Automatically

Morning Pages clear away the gunk clogging up my mind. This extra space in my being leaves a lot more room for creativity to fill-in. And it does.

I find I am inspired to write poems and songs far more often when I am regularly writing Morning Pages.

Inspiration is stronger. But so too is my ability to tune into the creative flow and generate inspiration where there was none.

So many creatives rely on inspiration to work. But it is the consistent discipline of doing a thing that allows your brain to create the pathways for randomness and free-thinking that lends to great improvised expressions.

3 Reasons People Stop Journaling

They get bored

Yup! Morning Pages can be boring.

But here’s the thing: do you delight in brushing your teeth? Or taking medication? Or making yourself get enough sleep? Morning pages can be boring in the same way all self-care routines that improve our health and well-being are.

Morning Pages are a practice of cleaning out the gutters of your mind — and that’s a messy process. Writing Morning Pages brings you face-to-face with your own thoughts. And those mothers are powerful.

They become too strict about writing daily

Life happens! Abandon an all-or-nothing mindset. Morning Pages (journaling, stream of consciousness writing) is always available to you as a tool for renewal and reflection.

There are tremendous benefits to writing every day. But don’t use the fact that you haven’t written in awhile as a reason not to start again.

You deserve to try and try and try again as many times as it takes — that goes for everything in life.

They get tired of their own negativity

Welp, yeah. If you’ve got a well of trauma or grief that you’ve been expertly handling but not healing — Morning Pages ain’t going to let you suppress the emotion.

Genuinely, I’m sorry. I know it’s much easier to keep this whole life thing going when you stay focused on busyness.

Your responsibility to your life purpose will come calling. And it probably won’t be a siren song, so much as an air horn.

The grief, loneliness, pain, guilt, anxiety. None of it will make you a better artist. If you have access, therapy is always recommended (EMDR can be particularly effective for trauma).

Beyond that:

How can you encourage balance (rest, play, work, care) in your life and set boundaries to protect your well-being?

I have found Morning Pages to be an incredible tool, but they are not a replacement for community care.

Nothing is.

This world isn’t set-up for easy access to community care. But, know, there are people who will envelop you in love, softness, and who will listen with compassion.

Ultimately, only you can decide if Morning Pages are a healthy tool or exacerbating something you’re not ready to turn toward.

That is okay too. Trust your wisdom.

Morning Pages FAQ

What do you write in Morning Pages?

Anything, everything. 

Generally not a pretty picture, it sure as hell ain’t a gratitude journal.

It’s a tell-it-like-it-is or at-least-how-it-feels-right-now journal. 

A place to throw your brain onto the page and learn to meet yourself and your creativity without judgment.

Do Morning Pages have to be 3 pages?

Three pages is a sweet spot. But if you find the idea of three pages to be daunting, make it easier on yourself.

Just write one. Then if you feel like writing another, continue. If not, you showed up for the day! Consider it a success and plan to show up again tomorrow.

These small acts of self-compassion reinforce positive discipline.

Can you do Morning Pages on a computer?

It is universally recommended to use pen and paper for Morning Pages. I love to have a specific notebook that I use just for this purpose.

 However, a computer or tablet with proper keyboard will work sufficiently as well. I don’t recommend using your smartphone.


Slow down, take the 20-30 minutes with yourself, and make it ceremonial.

When we allow ourselves to do Morning Pages on a smartphone, it can become an afterthought, stuffed into any window of the day.

What if those windows, instead, were spent daydreaming about your memoir? Or drafting lyrics to your next song?

How long should it take to write Morning Pages?

In the beginning, it will probably take about 30 minutes to write three pages of long-hand stream of consciousness. However, as you continue the practice, you will pause less and write with abandon more. 

Once you are writing Morning Pages without interrupting yourself to judge, think, or consider what you’re about to write, you will often complete the pages in 15 minutes or less.

Do you have to do Morning Pages in the morning?

Morning Pages are as much of a self-care practice as brushing your teeth. Writing in the morning will set you up for a better, more creative day.

That being said — do the pages when you can.

Do the pages when you will do them. That’s the most important thing. If mornings just don’t work for you, pick a time that will consistently work for your schedule.

Sweep out your mind, so you can enjoy the clean space. 

You’ve successfully subscribed to Conner Carey
Welcome back! You’ve successfully signed in.
Great! You’ve successfully signed up.
Success! Your email is updated.
Your link has expired
Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.