I love this quote “A mind too active, is no mind at all.” Theodore Roethke.
I so get that. My mind races. Too many ideas, too many thoughts, too many lists and then I paralyze. I do nothing. One of the tools I use to help me get un-paralyzed is journaling or what I refer to as my morning pages.
“Write it out girl, stop the chatter, put it on paper.”
I am not sure when I started journaling, but it has been over a decade.
Sometimes my journaling is happy and pretty.
Most of the time it is just junk. Incomplete sentences misspelled words, angry, babyish junk and that is where the magic begins.
Something happens when I actually take a pen to paper and write my thoughts out. The inner critic sooner or later starts to run out of gas. It may not be that day or week but sooner or later there is a shift. The important thing is that I keep showing up every day to that journal and write. I have been doing this long enough to know a shift will happen, it always does.
I had been journaling for years when I was introduced to Julie Camerons, “The Artist Way”. At the time I was transitioning out of the corporate world into the world of entrepreneurship. Wow, oh wow, what a difference that book has made in my life over the years.
Julie Cameron is the queen on what she calls “morning pages” and how they will absolutely change your life. Her book “The Artist Way” is a must for anyone that wants to unleash their creativity. The very first chapter in her book is all about Morning Pages and the “magic” it does in people’s lives. I highly recommend you get this book!
Here is an example of how my pages go:
So this morning I am worried about my energy. I just feel so drained. I just feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. Who am I to think anyway gives a **** about my blog and what I have to say there are so many people that have amazing blogs out there that are writers and know how to spell and I really need to get some chicken food oh I wonder when the avocado workers will go off strike in Mexico so the cafe can get avocados and if the tile is in for the shower …… and I am so grateful for this cup of coffee…..
I do usually include a gratitude list somewhere in the pages, just to always remember there is something to be grateful for no matter what else is going on.
Get the drift, spell check is totally freaking out as I type this, and I just blew Gramercy’s mind with those incomplete sentences, but that is the beauty of it. There are no proofreaders and it just does not matter. Usually, if I ever look back, which I do not do very often, I can not even read my own writing.
Don’t make this a big deal. There is no right or wrong way to do this.
Here is your checklist to get started. No more excuses!
How to Journal or Write Morning Pages
1)Nobody gets to read your journal. Nobody, except you and then I would proceed with caution.
2) Get a notebook, any notebook. My favorite right now is this one with a blue glitter cover that I got at HEB for under $2.00. Half-Price Books is a great place to find them as well. I just pick them up wherever I see them and keep a stash on hand.
3) Pens lots of pens. It is just the worst when I am ready to write and can not find a pen. Some people like using colored pens but for me, I just want my paper mate, medium point black pen. I love these pens so much that I carry one in with me to the office supply store so I make sure and get the right one! When I find them I buy in BULK! By the way, this is not a paid advertisement for them but hey, maybe I should contact them. #papermatecallme
4) Write in the morning, 3 pages. This is a commitment to your growth. Taking time for yourself. If you have to just lay in bed and write, but do it.
5) Put your journal and pens in the same place every day, so you do not have to hunt them down. You do not want to start your day trying to find where you put them.
6) When possible, go to the same place every day to write. You are creating a ROUTINE. I love sitting outside when weather permits.
7) Do not look at emails, your phone, the newspaper or the television. Really, really try not to have any distractions or conversations before you write. This will affect your writing.
8) Stick with it for 30 days minimum. I want to say 90 days, but I know I lot of y’all would head for the hills on this one!
Julie Cameron says that when people ask her “Why do morning pages?”, her answer is “To get to the other side.”
Yep, that is exactly what they do!
You may also want to check out this article on journaling… it talks about the health benefits of journaling.