Here’s what a morning pages entry looks like, as written in a Traveler’s Notebook:
For those of you that can’t read my chicken scratch, here’s what the entry says:
*Note: Copied over from a brand new morning pages journal vol. 9, personal journal vol. 11, dated 10.29.2019
This is the start of a brand new notebook after stopping prematurely on the previous one. It was a Muji notebook, and while not appreciated [think I was trying to say I appreciated it], it definitely did not feel good to write in. The lines were too close together and the paper quality was slick, non-adherent, and would smudge a lot of ink.
So, after years of soul-searching with a short trip to the mountains, I decided to call it. Officially. The previous morning pages stops early and I get to use this one. I used two of these notebooks originally last year and enjoyed the freedom and the page size. A couple hundred words down and I’m off to the races without feeling like I’m doing a huge journal entry.
According to the Medium post I got this idea [morning pages] from, shared by Warren Ellis I believe (so it’s a three-person chain), as written by Julian Simpson:
…so I started writing on an A4 pad. Don’t. It’s too much. It felt like homework and by the time I’d scribbled three sides of A4 the last thing I wanted to do was write anything else.
So, while I’ll try and not take offense at the whole “homework” dig, that makes perfect sense for how I’m feeling/felt.
Any creative exploit, not related to the actual technical side of being a creative (managing finances, etc.) that feels restrictive or constraining, like your whole life is being trapped, shall be discarded. Most of your life, at least for me, is already a set list of rules, meeting times, and due dates.
It’s nice to have some freedom and to be able to write without worrying about crossing over the line like some neurotic fireshow.
TLDR What I’m trying to get at is rules for a creative are important. In fact, I go so far as to say they are critical for our success. Without them we fall victim to the winds of lost thought and loose schedules.
But don’t be restrictive with yourself in the area of creation. If you’re not liking the pencil you’re using, toss it. If you don’t like the canvas you’ve started on, trash it. Start again. Do and work with what brings the best out of you.
All this to not feel guilty about leaving a notebook 2/3 empty.
Thanks for reading,