I stopped doing Morning Pages nearly 8 months ago.
It was a tough call to make. It was a nice two year run of free writing and exploration with many, many notebooks filled up in the process with the worst kind of nonsense you can imagine. However, the difficulties of finding time to sit down and freely write, with no promise that it would further my career, were weighing to much on my mind.
Every day, when I’d be unable to tear myself away for 15-20 minutes to empty my mind, I’d think, “This is terrible. Why can’t I do this anymore?” But the pandemic had just started, my wife transitioned into working full-time from home, and our twin sons were just 5 months old, needing more attention than ever.
Rereading this post, explaining why I decided to stop doing Morning Pages, paints a far different picture of my life compared to where I am now.
For example, I no longer have to wake up at 3 in the morning to feed the boys, as they sleep almost entirely through the night now (I say almost because, if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last year of parenting, is that if you say anything is a certainty with your child then they will almost immediately do the opposite of what you just said), nor do I feel the need to get Morning Pages done before I do any actual WIP writing.
[“WIP Writing” is the unofficial name I’m using for the books I’m working on. In casual conversations with my wife, I’ve called then “personal work” or “unpaid work,” which neither felt write. Sure, I’m not getting paid for them now, but someday I might, so I need to consider them as seriously as I do my freelance/paid work.]
Why pick up Morning Pages again? For those unfamiliar (and fans of this site I apologize again for re-explaining this useful practice), Morning Pages was popularized by Julia Cameron and her system, The Artist’s Way, where:
Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing,done first thing in the morning. There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages–they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page…and then do three more pages tomorrow.Julia Cameron, Morning Pages
So why now? Why wait eight months to start writing 3 pages, sometimes four to five hundred words, of seeming nonsense? Is there something I’m hoping to discover about myself? Perhaps now is the time where I craft the ultimate journals unlocking the mysteries of my mind to be discovered and talked decades in the future?
No. It’s because my grandma, my Nana, passed away from COVID nearly two weeks ago.
She was an amazing woman, and I won’t go much further than that, but she routinely traveled to visit my wife, the boys, and I. It was during those visits where she told me to continue journaling. That we were living in the most interesting, crazy of times, and that it would be good to write it out. To have something on hand to be able to explain to my boys when they’re older what it was like to live in this time.
So, for her, for the betterment of my mind, and for the future where I get to tell my boys about what 2020/2021 was like, here we go.
This is the new notebook. Leatherbound, date-space pages, and brown paper. Let’s begin.
Thanks for reading,