Every morning, I write Morning Pages. It’s something I’ve done off and on for almost two decades, starting with the first time I read Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. A couple of years ago, I reread it and went through all the exercises and endeavored to make Morning Pages a daily practice. At first, I spent $10-12 on each ruled, wire-bound journal, purchased from the bargain table at Barnes and Noble. When I got to the point where I was actually writing every day and going through one blank book per month, I decided that the $1 composition books from Target or Office Depot worked just as well, and when I watched for the Back-To-School sales, I could pick them up for half-price or less. Now I have dozens of them stashed around the house, ready for me to fill up with what is essentially a daily brain-dump.
Sometimes I sit at an antique secretary in the den, sometimes at my sewing machine/desk in the bedroom, and on the weekends when I feel the need for extra solitude and quiet, I take myself out to the travel trailer that is parked on the side of the house between camping trips. I have taken my current journal with me to early morning doctor’s appointments so that I could stop by the coffee house afterwards and do the writing I hadn’t had time to do before the appointment. As I’ve progressed in this daily writing habit, I have found that I am able to write with more focus in what at one time would have been unbearably distracting conditions.
Some people refer back to their journal/diaries for reference or as a memory aid. I have almost never done so (as if I’d be able to decipher my handwriting anyway). Others keep theirs as some kind of gift to the future or a legacy for their children. Since mine act as both a writing lubricant and therapy tool, I don’t believe that I would want anyone reading them, nor do I think anyone would find them particularly interesting. I do keep them, although I’m not sure why, but I only have them dating back about 6 years, as shortly after I moved to Florida, I had an amazingly cathartic bonfire in my backyard, burning all the pages I had written up until that time.
But, I digress. The original direction I had for this post was that it took me about three years to fully integrate Morning Pages into my daily routine and make it something that I anticipate as I know how it enriches my day. My next step is to make regular blogging so much a part of my routine that it is just the next step in a natural progression after coffee and Morning Pages. Maybe one day, I’ll get yoga in there, too.