writing in notebook

Using Morning Pages to Improve Your Writing by Dina Indelicato

Good writing is made up of several elements. First, good spelling and mechanics make writing easier to read. It also makes the writer seem credible and more intelligent. Good word choice and phrasing make writing more impactful. Finally, the way you organize your thoughts and express yourself add deeper meaning is what really separates great writing from the rest.

One way to improve your writing is to engage in a daily exercise known as morning writing. It’s easy to do, and can take just a few minutes once you find your groove.

Morning Writing Explained
Anyone can use morning writing. It is simply a writing exercise that you perform each morning before you do anything else. All you have to do is find a quiet place, and grab a pen and notebook. Then, using longhand, just write out three pages.

There’s no need to pick a topic. You don’t have to think about what you’re going to write. This is strictly stream of consciousness writing. Doesn’t that seem simple? Well, it’s designed to be simple. Even better, it really does work to improve your writing.

Set Your Alarm
Morning pages should be as close to the first thing you do each morning. Don’t wait until you are getting kids ready for school, preparing breakfast, or checking your emails. At this point, your mind is on the upcoming events of the day, and you won’t get much out of it. Ideally, find a quiet place and have a seat with your cup of coffee or tea.

There’s no Wrong Way to Get Started
For some, it’s a real challenge to figure out how to get started. Relax. There’s no wrong way to get started. Some people start with a greeting such as, ‘Good morning!‘. Others simple delve right in. Remember that you don’t need to have a topic. You don’t need to write in paragraphs. You don’t have to check your spelling or grammar.

Write About Everything or Nothing
Morning pages looks different for every writer. For some, it won’t make any sense at all. It will just be random jumbles of words, and perhaps disjointed thoughts. It may rhyme or otherwise look like poetry. It could even be lists. Morning pages can be used to vent frustrations, create characters, or to make plans. Whatever shakes out is absolutely fine. Don’t get stuck on what you should be writing.

No Editing Allowed
If you’ve been working to improve the technical aspects of your writing, this may go against your instincts. However, it is very important that you never interrupt the flow of your writing during morning pages. If you notice that you’ve made an error, just keep going. This exercise isn’t about improving your spelling or grammar. There are plenty of great ways to work on those skills.

Morning Pages is a no Judgement Zone
Remember that the point of morning pages isn’t to produce a piece of writing you would be proud to show to others. You should expect mistakes in spelling and grammar. You may even find that you express ideas and emotions that you don’t like very much. Don’t worry about it. That’s the point of stream of consciousness writing. It’s like a brain dump. Sometimes what end up on the page isn’t very pretty. As long as you have filled three pages, you’ve accomplished your goal.

You shouldn’t judge your morning writing, but it can be interesting to review what you’ve written from time to time. You may find some thoughts that crop up fairly often. Some even find that morning pages helps them to work out little hostilities.

Use Morning Pages to Get Mental Clutter Out of The Way
It’s hard to write well when your mind is cluttered with a bunch of random thoughts. As you’re trying to write, you may rehash old arguments, daydream about an upcoming trip, even check off your to do list for that upcoming list, including getting your travel documents translated. All of these things distract you from getting your writing completed. They can even detract from the quality of your writing.

By participating in morning pages, you help get the clutter out on paper. This way, when you write you are better able to stay on track without getting distracted.

Morning Pages Can be a Launching Pad For Ideas
While it’s okay if it isn’t, many people find that some good ideas come to them when they work on their morning pages. You might find a story idea for example. You could also find the beginning to the solution for a problem you’ve been having at work. Remember that creating things, even those that aren’t necessarily linear or make sense, leads to even more creativity.

You’ll be Better Able to Focus on Spelling And Grammar
Another great thing about getting all of your distracting thoughts out is that it makes you better able to focus on the details of your writing. This includes paying to attention to spelling and grammar as you write. Whether you’re crafting an important memo, or just shooting off a quick email, you’ll be attentive and focused. This kind of detail oriented approach to your writing may just show some significant improvement in the quality of your writing.

Don’t Use Motivation Make it a Habit
If you try morning pages, you may find that it’s difficult to get going. Sometimes it’s easier to sleep in. You may find yourself tempted to make breakfast or surf the internet for a bit. If you find yourself wondering where you will ever find your motivation, you aren’t alone. Yet, the key isn’t motivation at all. It’s creating a habit.

Try your best to make yourself take part in pages for two weeks. This should be enough time to turn it into a habit, and enough time to realize some of its many benefits. Before long, you won’t just find it easy to do, you’ll actually look forward to it.

There’s a reason that morning pages have taken the world by storm. They can truly be used to improve your writing. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginning writer or seasoned pro. Give morning pages a try. You will almost certainly be glad that you did.

Dina Indelicato is a blogger enthusiast and freelance writer. She is always open to research about new topics and gain new experiences to share with her readers. Currently she is a writer for translation services’ website Pick Writers. You can find her on Twitter @DinaIndelicato and Facebook.