Morning Pages: How To Begin

Morning Pages, an idea introduced to me by Buster Benson's, are my daily writing habit. Maybe they might become yours.

First, decide to write. Today. Not tomorrow. Now gather your materials.

You need three blank pages. I prefer loose pages to a notebook for reasons I'll make clear later. You need a pen, not a pencil. Pen does other things for you. Again, I'll explain all that later, but for now, get your pen, get your pages. (And if you absolutely must use a pencil, go ahead.) Put yourself in a place of solitude for an hour, maybe more. I write in my basement nook of an office. If you must have coffee or tea, prepare it. Put on music if you like.

I found my method, tools, and space over time, but started with pen, paper, a table and a chair. I began first thing in the morning and didn't move on until I had finished three pages. I concentrated only on filling those pages.

What you write almost doesn't matter. Just write three pages with the words only you can create. (While infinite monkeys at infinite typewriters will eventually write Hamlet, we're short a few monkeys and so have to do the writing ourselves.)

Begin with whatever thought crosses your mind. "I'm tired" or "It's 5:03 in the morning" or "In the dream..." and go from there. Don't plan topics in advance at first. Don't do assignments. Write for yourself. Do not show your pages to anyone.

Sit or stand at your desk. Write today's date and a page number on each of the three blank pages. Begin on the first line of page one and keep going. Don't erase. Don't make it pretty. Don't worry. Just write until the last line of page three. You don't have to get to the end of the last line, but you have to reach that last line with at least one word. When you do, you're done for the morning.

This is how it begins.

Tomorrow, you'll do it all again.