Another activity that I love doing besides reading is writing in a journal. In recent years, I’ve done collage and bullet journaling but straight up writing in a journal is something that I’ve done since 13 years old. Of course, it can be hard to start with a blank page staring up at you. It’s frustrating not being able to think of what to write. Trust me, I’ve been through that and still go through that often. So I’m here to share my experience with journaling using the concepts of morning pages.
This past Sunday (November 12) I finished a 248-page journal (I numbered the pages). It made me really proud and satisfied that I did. I love finishing things and knowing I’m not wasting money buying a stack of journals and actually using them.
How did I fill up that journal? Morning pages. Morning pages is a concept thought up by Julia Cameron where you write 3 pages longhand in an 8.5 x 11-inch notebook first thing every morning. She suggests this to everyone, not only creatives or authors. I’m usually a skeptic but I really want to write. Whenever I would sit to write, I’d just sit there and stare at the blank paper. I still do that often, even after finishing a 248-page journal filled with morning pages.
I’m not sure how I first heard about morning pages but I first thought it had to be anytime before noon. When I read more about morning pages from Cameron’s book on it, I realized that I was supposed to do it as soon as I woke up. I didn’t follow everything she suggested or go out and buy a special 8.5 x 11-inch notebook when I had a whole stack of smaller journals. I also didn’t beat myself up if I couldn’t write one morning or wrote 3 pages later in the day. That is very important. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
According to Cameron, morning pages are supposed to be a stream of consciousness, you’re not supposed to stop and think what to write. This was hard for me and it’s something I’m still working on but if I can’t think of anything to write, I write exactly that, “I can’t think of anything to write.” or “What else should I write about?” Usually, I write what I did the day before or my thoughts on certain topics.
Another suggestion from Cameron is to stop writing at three pages. I like this concept as well because if you are motivated to keep going to a fourth page but stop, you can carry that motivation to the next days morning pages. It will be like you can’t wait until the next morning to continue writing. If you continue to keep writing to a fourth or fifth page, you’d have written everything and you’ll be all dried up. I think this is a good concept for fiction writing as well.
Probably the best part of journaling is buying cute journals and pens but it’s important. If you love what you’re writing with and what you’re writing on, it makes a big difference. I think it’s good motivation to keep writing and finish up a journal so you can buy yourself a new journal!
I hope I’ve inspired you to keep or start journaling!
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