Writing a journal is a good way to discover what you want and express what your opinions are. Without getting thoughts on paper, all of your thoughts are just stuck in your head unexplored.
I call my journal morning pages, inspired by the author, Julia Cameron, who wrote the popular book, The Artists Way. In fact I’ve been reading several books from some great and inspiring writers and every one of them recommends morning pages as a daily practice.
My self- experiment is a commitment of 30 days of morning pages; it started last week. I’ve done morning pages off and on for a few years, in spits and starts, but it’s invigorating to have a commitment to a 30 day period – some research points to a 30 day period as the time needed to start a new habit.
There are several ways to do morning pages – one is to set a timer for 10 minutes and just write constantly without judgment or pause for that time period. Another way is to write until you fill 3 full pages, however long that takes.
Both methods are good – but for me I like the 10 minute writing method as its less intimidating than having 3 blank pages staring at you, blank, and waiting to be filled.
There are a lot of positive reasons to write morning pages. For example, this practice can work to quiet the ‘monkeys’ or the random, and often negative, voices in our head. When writing morning pages, often the gang of monkeys comes full force. If you notice them, it’s easier to let them go or ignore them. You can get all of the noisy crap out of your head during these sessions, so that later when you’re writing your blog articles or chapters to a book they don’t come barging in again (well, for the most part).
And, like an athlete, artists and writers need to practice too. You don’t see great athletes who become great without practice. But oddly enough, most folks who start out writing hardly commit to a practice in the beginning. Often we just set out to write a book without practicing a bit first. Yet writing is a practice like anything else. It must be practiced, honed and nurtured.
So, I am doing 30 days of morning pages for various reasons, to hone my unique voice, to quiet the voices in my head, to practice the craft.
I am also doing the practice as part of the commitment to my passion of writing. Recently I asked myself: what the one thing I would regret later in life if I never tried to do it? Writing came up for me over and over again. So that’s what this is; a practice that is a commitment to my young and old self. I’m giving time, focus and attention to this passion. Because really, at the end of the day, the only control in life we have is how and where we spend our time and what we choose to focus on.
Starting a morning pages practice yourself? Let me know how it goes in the comments below.