Looking for answers to life's questions

Morning Pages

I’ve been sitting on my front porch in the early daylight hours sipping my one cup of hot coffee, writing my morning pages. Julia Cameron, of whom I am a big fan, says there should be three pages but I’m hard pressed to take the time for one or two. Once my coffee is gone, so am I. The pages of drivel seem to others to be a waste of time and paper. I figure I can shred the paper later and put it in the compost. Writing in the morning sorts out my mind. Since I am alone with no one else to bounce ideas and thoughts out, they reflect back off the paper. I get all the muddle out in front of me, make my list of possibilities for the day, then see how much of that I can bring to fruition.

I took the 12 week workshop with many other women. Wonderful!

No day goes exactly as planned. I can deviate so quickly by a turn in my step. Finding myself organizing my shed when all I wanted to do is find the fertilizer to finish watering my plants. Then the pain in my foot will bring me back to my original intention of getting the watering done before the heat descends.

I’m sure she has written something I haven’t read yet.

Writing my morning pages is very different from what I write in my journal each night. Morning pages set intent for my day. My nightly journal page is a documentation of that day. Time, date and weather are included in both. Morning pages help me bring my intention into focus and clear my mind clutter. The nightly journal page, only one as I’m quite tired by then, helps off load my thoughts so I get a better night’s sleep.

When my children were young, I began the practice of reading to each of them separately at night as there was quite the distance in age, then ask how their day had gone. That’s the time when they would tell me anything that had troubled them or had been of particular delight. I was their nightly journal. Since both children have Dysgraphia, actual journal writing isn’t something they do. But mom still asks at the end of their workday how it went. My daughter spills most on her Saturday visits and my son calls daily to make sure I’m still among the living. He knows he can still share the good and the troubling. If it’s something big in need of working out, I still say, “WRITE IT OUT”.

Borrowed from the library and listened to it.

Like a piece of paper, I can fix nothing, just be the place to reflect back. Life is slower for me now. More solitude than many would find comfortable. Writing longhand on paper always clears things up in a way that writing on a computer does not.

There is scientific evidence of the brain to hand connection that does not exist with the computer. Long hand, free-flowing writing can unblock creativity and the next thing you know, you have a list of what can be done that day as well as a blog post all done for you. I may not be an artist but these books help unlock all kinds of creativity. Now I need to do another artists date. Hmmm.

https://www.edutopia.org/blog/writing-by-hand-benefits-brain-ainissa-ramirez

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/12/writing-on-paper_n_5797506.html

Have you found the benefits of morning pages yet or journal writing at night?

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

 

 

Comments on: "Morning Pages" (68)

  1. I loved everything about this post, Marlene! “Writing longhand on paper always clears things up in a way that writing on a computer does not.” I totally agree. Nothing you write is drivel…you’re a wonderful writer. I love that you write both in the mornings and a night. Getting my swirling thoughts down on paper helps a great deal since my mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Thanks for the reminder of Julia’s books…I wanted to order The Art of Perseverance. Which is your favorite? xo

    Liked by 3 people

    • Right now I’m working on her book “It’s Never too Late to Begin Again” Kindle edition. I think “The Artist’s Way” and the workbook were such an eye opener for me. Journaling is essential for getting through tough times. I plan to re-read a couple of them. It’s been awhile. Thanks for stopping by, Jill. Have a great weekend and 4th.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You do the same, Marlene! I just ordered the “The Artist’s Way” and “Finding Water” the paper copies. Books such as this, I like to highlight and flag with Post-its. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • I’ve gone with more post-it’s than highlighting these days. Some of my books are full of them. My son ordered the kindle version for me. I would have done the paper version. 😉 Let me know how you like Finding Water. I’ll read it again with you. 😉 So many books, so little time. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I used to keep a journal since I was a kid. I stopped in my first marriage as he would find my journals and use them against me. I never seemed to get back to it again. I do miss it. I’m a great believer in lists. 🙂 And no writing is drivel. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    • I agree, no writing is drivel as it can lead to a productive mind. I’m surprised you don’t journal more now with all you are going through. It helps so much to off load the stress. I do look back on mine to see if it’s helped and it certainly lets me see if I’m sitting in it or moving through. I didn’t keep a journal until the second husband. He didn’t read anything and wasn’t interested enough to want to know what I was thinking. The journaling saved his life. 😉 I’ve been writing in them since 1987 but not as regularly as the last 20 years. I have lists too, everywhere. 🙂 Hope you are doing well. Miss you.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Starting the day afresh with intentions, or simply naming the day is a powerful practice to become grounded. I have not journaled at night, except on retreats and courses that encourage self inquiry. Journaling to me, is something I turn to when I want to see beyond struggle or confusion. To get clarity. It’s so good to see you are following Julia’s recommendations. They can be life changing 💕

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I love Julia’s Book “Finding Water” and I purchased it a number of years ago. Her philosophies about so many things are inspirational and her journey. Thank you for sharing her story and her books.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by, Karen. I’m re-reading “Finding Water” and see all the areas I highlighted the first time. Julia Cameron is quite the inspiration. We all need that at times.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I went back and read your “about” story and I had no idea that you had lived all over the world. Bells Palsy is so strange, how it happens and why it attacks for no apparent reason is baffling. I too, think Julia is an inspiration and yes…it is of great help to go back and reread her story. Thank you for sharing! Karen 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for going back and reading my about page. I like to read that first on most blogs I follow. The Bells is ever present and never gone away. Most think I’ve had a stroke including my doctors. It was ruled out. Bells usually hits when people are under extreme stress. Seems the more intense the stress, the more profound the Bells becomes. It’s like Shingles. Same virus that will hit you when you are under physical or emotional stress. I started the blog to educate people about learning to manage stress better. I still have to work at it. 😉 Happy 4th.

        Like

  5. Back in the day when it was called ‘keeping a diary’ I wrote daily from the time I was about 12 until I turned 33. All the diaries were kept in a box – I called it ‘my life in a box’ box and that box traveled the world with me. I continued to write but more sporadically as I became a free and independent career woman. About 10 or so years ago I got into art journalling and began to use painting as my outlet for frustrations, plans, dreams and inspiration. The need for words fell away as the process of painting took over expressing my feelings and thoughts and aspirations. All of it was good, is good……. I still make lists but no longer feel the need to document my life. I also practise waking up and examining my thoughts and feelings. I don’t get up until I feel gratitude for my life and circumstances and kindness towards anybody I wasn’t feeling kind towards yesterday. Sometimes I stay in bed for quite a while….. 🙂 Have a great weekend Marlene xoxo

    Liked by 3 people

    • You always make me chuckle, Pauline. If I could draw or paint one of those beautiful art journals, I definitely would. I love them. Words seem to be all I have so I make the best use of them. If I stayed in bed until I felt kindness towards anyone I wasn’t feeling kind toward, I too would be in bed a long time. I think everything has it’s season. My writing lagged at times as well. You have a good handle on how you deal with things. Art is a wonderful way and you are just so good at it. 🙂 I’m just documenting the transition in my journals A safe outlet.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. So much inspiration here, Marlene! I love hearing about your Morning Pages. Thank you for sharing so many of Julia’s books that are new to me. I am slowly savoring the activities in “It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again.” It speaks to my creative heart in so many ways. Although I have slowed down quite a bit with Morning Pages, I really enjoy writing them as they always inspire me to create. Solo Walks and Artist Dates are also favorite tools. This year, I have fully embraced bullet journaling! I begin and end each day with my Self-Care journal. It has become a real treasure and the time spent reflecting on each day feels like a little gift to myself! It’s such fun to use a few art supplies and to add favorite quotes on each page. Today I finished setting up my July pages and I’m looking forward to a healthy, creative new month! Happy weekend, dear Marlene! ♡

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you for visiting, Dawn. You are quite talented with your art work in your journals. I miss some mornings as well but most of the time it just helps me focus my day. I still like to do my Artist dates and they happen most often on the weekend so my daughter can help me get to places. She enjoys them too. I’ll have to check out Bullet journaling. My day ends with my gratitude journal. Self care is something I’m not as focused on as I need to be but then I am taking more steps toward living a simpler and more active life. I guess that is self care. 😉 I’d like more time to get my Julia Cameron books read and the exercises done. Where does all that time go??? Have a wonderfilled weekend and a terrific 4th.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wonderful post Marlene! I’m working my way through the “It’s never too late …” Julia Cameron book. I started doing the morning pages and find that it clears my head for a more peaceful day. I’m working on incorporating the rest of the suggestions too. Writing does a human good!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Sabine. I want to get back to “It’s Never too Late”. It’s on my tablet and I never seem to have enough time to read anything but blogs. Need to get outside right now and work in the yard. So many things to do, so little energy to do them. 🙂 Keep writing. 🙂 Hugs

      Like

  8. Thanks for – another – lovely post Marlene! I don’t journal, perhaps I should, although I’m a huge fan of Lists. You are absolutely right about the connection with writing things down as opposed to typing on the computer. When I’m learning something and taking notes, if the notes are on the computer, I forget them instantly. If I handwrite my notes, I remember them. I shall miss your sister stories, they always make me smile. Hugs to you both!

    Like

    • Thank you so much, Clare. I have a couple of your pages open but keep running out of daylight. Summers are hard to get all my reading done. I had a teacher in 6th and 7th grade who made us take handwritten notes then transcribe them into graded notebooks in fountain pen. By that time, we had the information firmly planted in our brains. She knew something that researchers just pointed out to us. I thought it was just someone’s bright idea but the studies confirm the difference. I also found that if I wanted something very much, if I wrote it on paper by hand, I would inevitably make it manifest. I’m a big fan of lists too. They organize me to no end. I need to get these stories into a booklet for my sister now. I’ll probably add some later stories to her copy. I’m glad you enjoyed them.

      Like

  9. I did morning pages for a very long time and have kept a journal. In times of great stress I have recently found that writing my anxities into a fictional character and making up a whole diffferent story have helped me deal with some difficult thoughts. No longer my thoughts but someone elses. I never heard of that as a way of dealing with things, but it helped me.
    I think that anything that helps you get things in perspective and into some kind of order is helpful.
    How great that your children still tell you everything.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you for stopping by and sharing your own idea for how to write out conflict in your mind. I had not thought of it but think it’s brilliant! I think my adult children still share because I am not judgmental about what they tell me and I don’t try to fix things. That allows them to be heard, validated and move forward with their own solutions to any given situation. I have learned that writing is not to be taken for granted as neither of my children can do it well. Short circuit in the brain. ;( Thanks again for sharing your idea. Love it.

      Like

  10. I write in the very quiet early morning, kind of a combination of what happened yesterday and what I hope for today. I’ve been doing it for about 8 years and only wish I’d started far sooner. Unlike you, I do use my iPad for writing–my creaky hands don’t lend themselves to long journal entries and I want to write long and detailed entries. I’m impressed with your commitment to writing twice a day–it clearly suits you well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do understand that the creaky hands make it hard. My children, both mature adults now, cannot write either without a computer. We each have to do what works for us. I had forgotten how much my morning pages cleared my mind for the day. I do them most days now but life has it’s own agenda so we have to roll with it. Save those hands for quilting and weaving. 🙂 Have a wonderfilled weekend and thanks for stopping by.

      Like

  11. I love this, Marlene! How your writing flows with the morning and night routine. And, how you read and talked with your children at night- that helped them become the people they are today. Just wonderful!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Jennie. Writing has never worked for them and it was very hard in school until I learned about the Dysgraphia when my daughter was diagnosed. She and her brother are voracious readers and retain everything. They just can’t write. How interesting that it’s the one thing I have to do no matter what. Have a wonderfilled weekend and 4th of July.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s really interesting, Marlene. You have to write and they have to read. Both are wonderful. I need to learn more about Dysgraphia. Happy 4th of July to you. 🇺🇸

        Liked by 1 person

      • You probably won’t notice it in preschoolers as quickly. If you ask my kids a question an a subject they can give you quite the articulate answer. Ask them to write the answer and it will take hours of painful work. Only met a few people who knew about this learning disability. Happy 4th to you and yours.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Most interesting, and you’re right that I probably wouldn’t see this in preschool. They’re just learning to write the letters in their name. Many thanks, Marlene. Best to you. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Good morning Sunshine! You’re very organized and dedicated to journal everyday. I kept one last year, a planner/journal. But I’d just do it at the end of the month, documenting big things in a creative/scrappy way. Journal’s are a whole industry in the scrap world. I have a lot of balls in the air. I bought a serger this week and want to get a whole bunch of sewing done. My friend Lori has the exact same one and when I used her’s for a recent project, I decided I’d really benefit from one too.
    We also had a bedtime stories when we were kids. Dad would read to us all in one bed, usually from the world book encyclopedia. I have fond memories of it. x Boomdee

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy Friday, Sweet Pea! If I don’t write things down these days, they are gone for good. With so many things going on at once, like you, I would be spinning in circles all day. Lots of lists but the writing helps me focus on what needs to be on the lists. I bought a new serger not long ago when mine broke. I bought the old one in 1998 and it couldn’t be repaired. The new one is idiot proof so I’m very happy with it. It’s good your friend has one too so you have someone to help if need be. It’s wonderful your dad read to you. It helps children become better readers and love to read. Thanks for stopping by for a visit. Miss you. Giant hugs. M

      Liked by 1 person

  13. This post was just the encouragement that I needed. You know how you get into a dull rut and can come up with nothing. I’m going to look for her books. And, yes I journal, but only in the morning. Thanks, Marlene! Have a fabulous weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bet you can find some of her books second hand or on sale somewhere. I have more than I listed but they do help. I’m glad you enjoy journaling at least once a day. I might miss morning pages but never my nighttime journal or the one line gratitude journal. Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderfilled weekend and 4th. I probably said that already on your post but I forget so quickly. ;(

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Many years ago my sister gifted to me the first book you show. It is a wonderful book and definitely encourages creative expression. I picked it up a couple weeks ago and flipped through, reminded of the positive thoughts within. Thank you for the creative boost by sharing her works.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No one, least of all, Julia Cameron expected The Artists Way to have such an impact. They are always looking for facilitators to do the 12 week workshop. I so enjoyed it and it brings the book to life. I have my workbook out now and want to see how much has changed creatively in the last 10 years. 🙂 You don’t seem to ever lack inspiration in your creativity. But the book is fun to read anyway. Thanks for stopping by.

      Like

  15. A great post pointing out some interesting facts. Writing long hand is a direct connection between you and paper. Thoughts ‘flow’ easier from the mind. I could well imagine many writers prefer to do this. Plus, writing on paper gives the person the opportunity to sit back and think about his next few works without the computer demanding ‘action’.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This post is a treasure, as are you! You made me grin with “Once the coffee is gone, so am I.” And there are such fine truths, especially relevant as we age: “I can deviate so quickly by a turn in my step. Finding myself organizing my shed when all I wanted to do is find the fertilizer to finish watering my plants.”
    Thank you for this post, Marlene.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Marlene!!!! You are still blogging!!!!!!! ❤ I have tried to do morning pages for years, but I've had the most success since I took a leave from my job in March. I try to write two pages, front and back. Sometimes I process thoughts that are causing me angst, sometimes I plan my day, and sometimes I make a grocery list! Having time away from employment has helped me to focus on myself, and rework my priorities. I have left Facebook once again, and returned to my old passion–WRITING!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s good to see you here, Bethany. I’ll have to come find you again too. I think about giving up blogging as it takes more time than a job but somehow the desire to connect is still quite strong. Morning pages help me focus my day as well. I’m so glad I returned to them and it’s quite easy as I’m awake well before the sun is. 😉

      Like

      • I am glad I took a break from blogging, as I think I just needed to live life a little. But the past year has been an absolute “baptism by fire.” I have been physically and sexually assaulted at my job, which I chose to give up in order to save myself. And since then, I have had less tolerance for negative friendships, co-dependency, and, ultimately, social media. And in the void of all I’ve given up, something beautiful is growing to take its place. And that is why I need to write. Not to tell the story of the awful stuff that happened, but to focus on the new beauty.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Looking forward to reading more. I have no tolerance for the negative anymore either. My world is quite small but it’s enough.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Marlene, thank you for a wonderful post–your writing is a joy to read!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. A very lovely post, Marlene! And thank you for introducing Julia Cameron to me – I haven’t heard of her before but her book titles and what you wrote about her make her sound like an author I would very much enjoy to read and I will have a look at my library’s next week if they have some copies. Your Morning Pages sound like a wonderful way to start the day as do your evening entries. I often tried to keep a journal but somehow never really could see it through, first I skipped a day, then two, three until I gave it all up. This happened every time I tried to do this. The only journaling I seem to be somewhat consistent about is the one done on my blog. 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have gone through several years of not journaling but found that I needed the documentation. So it’s a practice like brushing my teeth morning and night. I don’t always get 3 pages in the morning but any page helps me focus my day. I’m old and retired too so I have more time than most. I’m not as consistent about my blogging these days. I think it’s because I’m holding back so I say nothing. Working on it. Julia Cameron has had a VERY interesting life! She tells about her creative journey and is 100% honest so I have enjoyed her body of work. Start with the Artist’s Way and see if you enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by, Sarah.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. First, I love that you’re a Julia Cameron fan. Second, when I was traveling back in April, I had to keep a long-hand journal. It felt different. It felt good and like there was a greater connection. I have had an online journal for years, but…this is a wonderful reminder to keep the trusty journal and…start writing in it again. 🙂 It’s food for the soul, I swear. Hope you’re doing well, my friend. Sending hugs!

    Like

  21. Morning writing? I have such a long ‘honey-do’ list and a declining abundance of energy, I’m lucky if I get to add a few sentences to my silly stories. But I liked this one. Such discipline. Good work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My list is extremely long as well since I’m doing both my work and what would have been his. I find that writing with my coffee helps me focus my days work and the direction I want to go. It doesn’t happen every single day but I find my day flows better with a minimum of one page and best with three. Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. I love that you are a Julia Cameron fan, too. I bought the first book years ago and have done Morning Pages off and on (more off than on, though) ever since. They have helped me through some tough times and especially when I moved to Alberta to live with my parents again after 51 years. It was good but there was a lot of adjustment on all sides, of course.

    I later bought the Journal and filled it and then continued again with the MP on foolscap kept in a binder. I love that you found some ME paper to add to it. I have a couple of boxes of her magazines and was sad when she had to turn to publishing online. Saves paper, I know, but I’m old-fashioned and love leafing through things . . . I have quite a few of her cards and so on, too, just for the inspiration and cheering-me-up factor.

    I brought a small daily diary and a blank book with me on this trip, but have found it difficult to find time for writing. I really need to do more blog posts! So much going on and so many thoughts . . . I now have some art supplies (again!) and have done some preliminary drawings and ink-twig drawings, which I like very much. But of course left them in Surrey.

    I also have “It’s Never Too Late” but have not used it yet. Others I still want to read, too. I have only done a couple of Artist’s Dates and while I found them very inspiring, for some reason I didn’t make it a habit. I did read “Finding Water” but at a stress-filled time, so I don’t have very clear recollections of it. Must read it again.

    Well, off to read your other posts. Sorry to be so behind (and I’m even more behind on some others I follow). So glad to have been able to read your stories about your sister, though. They always make me smile, chuckle or laugh out loud. This post, too. I liked the line about your journalling saving your husband’s life . . .

    See you later, my friend. Take care and keep cool. There are huge fires back home again, so I hope not down your way. Love, Light and big hugs. ~ Linne

    Like

    • Thank you for stopping by, Linne. I know you have a lot going on right now. I don’t get to as many artist’s dates as I’d like but try to find something unusual to do as often as possible out of the norm. I too have “It’s Never too Late” on my reader as it was a gift from my son. It was on my wish list. Most of her books are a staple around here and meant to be read again. At least you are doing your artistic work so there you go. No fires here…yet. The intense heat is just beginning and some darn fool will do something stupid sooner than later. Keeping my fingers crossed. Keep enjoying whatever it is you are doing at the moment. Several short posts broken down is probably the best way to go when you have a lot to say. Love and hugs. M

      Liked by 1 person

  23. I’m intrigued by how many comments you get. I feel like I lost a lot of readers, especially the commenters when I made some changes to my blog, but I can’t remember which and don’t know what I might have done. Glad to see so many contributors here, and so glad I never lost you!

    I’ll have to check out this author. I tend to go gangbusters on journaling for a while, and then lose momentum. I don’t think I’m doing it right, because I don’t seem to get much out of it. You inspire me to try again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve learned a lot about blogging over the years (almost 7) and I’ve found that most of my readers have developed a friendship relationship to me and me to them. They are real people and I’m vested in them and their well being. In turn, I read a LOT of blogs too and leave sincere comments. Those that follow just to have me follow theirs and are not invested soon depart. I’m not concerned with stats. Not my thing. I manage only once or twice monthly to write. Even at my age, I have a life. 😉
      As for journaling, it’s only one page in a notebook each night documenting my day. I’ve found it helpful much later in the coming years. I do go back and read to track patterns. Without fail each night no matter where I am or how tired. I also keep a one line daily small journal that has been going since 2012 of that days thing I am most grateful for. Some days it’s just about being able to breathe.
      I just started doing morning pages again. Often difficult but have found it helps me focus my day. I like doing them on days where I have many choices how to spend it. Working a full time job won’t put you in that category but even one small page can help focus how to spend free time. Three pages lets me see what’s holding me back from doing something I think I want to do. 😉 This is a rather long response and I apologize. Thanks for stopping by, Jean.

      Like

      • Some days breathing is more than enough to be grateful for. I guess I used to spend more time reading blogs than I do now. I do like to leave a comment when there’s a thought to share, no matter how small. It’s not the stats I envy but the conversation. I enjoy our online relationship. Some might call it virtual, but I think we know it’s quite genuine. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve learned that I can know someone’s heart from their writing. You are an OUTSTANDING writer and if you know me, you know I don’t say that frivolously. You also have a good heart. I’m glad you are back here.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ❤️ I’m

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Started doing morning pages last month – love the feeling of routine and it’s definitely boosted my creativity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for the visit. I think we all need some routine. It helps with our focus in the day as most creative types tend to overwhelm themselves. I wrote mine on the front porch this morning. A refreshing change.

      Like

  25. I am impressed with your diligence in writing. I am certainly getting out of the habit of hand-writing, and also finding that my penmanship wanes with disuse. Still, when something is important, I write it by hand: a note to someone when I need to share something on my mind, a birthday card, a how are you these days letter. I’ve recently written a letter to my mother, saying things I would never have said to her when she was alive, possibly freed because she wouldn’t see this letter now even by accident. You are right that long hand writing gets stuff worked out in my mind in a way that does not happen when I type.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the visit, Crystal. Writing longhand make such a difference as there are different connections in the brain that are used. If I really want something, I write it down longhand. Then I usually get it. I have a stack of cards waiting to be written here as well. Maybe tonight. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

RIGHT FROM YOUR HEART

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: