Friday, October 5, 2012

Morning Pages

In the early 90's. I heard about a book called The Artist’s Way. I haven’t looked at it for a long time, but remember it as sort of a hand book on how to be more creative. One of the recommendations was that you do something called morning writing. It was just supposed to be three pages of whatever came to your mind. I guess the idea was that writing would become a habit and that because you were just writing whatever came to mind, it would release your inner critic.

I started doing the morning writing back then, though I never worried about how many pages I wrote and I was a little more thoughtful than just writing any random words that came to mind. It did become a habit, and I still do it most mornings. Some people might called it journaling. For me it is somewhere between a diary, a conversation with myself, lists of things I have to do, and very often parts of the book I’m working on. When I’m stuck or on the wrong track in a story, the right direction often will show up in those pages.

Recently, I added something new to my morning writings after reading The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Anchor. He suggests jotting down three good things about the day before every morning because it teaches you to see the positive. Since I always change things, I just started writing down three good things. It can be something about my yard - how the dew drops on the leaves catch the sunlight and look like diamonds. Lots of times, I simply start with saying how good I feel. I might comment on how delicious my morning coffee tastes. Or how much I enjoy my breakfast yogurt. As an aside, my morning yogurt is really delicious. I am a bit of yogurt snob. My brand of choice is Brown Cow. It comes from a humane dairy, there are live cultures in it and it has a layer of cream on top. I sprinkle fresh almonds over it.

Just like doing the morning pages became habit, so did noting the three good things. Not a bad habit to have if you want to be happier.

I do have a favorite kind of notebook - the Moleskin soft cover ones that come in a package of three. And my favorite pen is the Sharpie Pen - Fine Point.

How do you feel about journaling?


Mare said...

I love the idea of writing down 3 good things. I believe I will start today. Thank you!

Betty Hechtman said...

It really helps to get you naturally thinking about positive things.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I used to do more journaling than I do today, Betty, but I always make notes about locations I visit when I'm traveling. Good for research!

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, I like to take notes when traveling as part of my journal. Often they turn out to be research.