An Introduction to Morning Pages

Pic by Walt Stoneburner (license: CC BY 2.0)

Recently I had an odd encounter with a long-time-forgotten habit that I thought I should not have done any longer.

I had learned about alphabets (writing and reading) very early, even before I was introduced to school. When I started elementary school at 5 years old, I began to write on a diary. It was nothing fancy. I used a simple grid-spaced notebook that was supposed to be a math notebook. I hated the subject so much that I doodled and wrote rants about it instead of working on homework. My teacher of course called my grandma, advising her to give more attention to my homework completion.

My grandma, after a bit of investigation, realized that the root cause of all those troubles was the ‘diary.’ Her solution was simple: She bought me a fancy thick diary every year. Like gasoline thrown into fire, more and more words burst out of me.

Inside I usually wrote all important stuff–well, important for a six-year-old. Like, “Shoot! Math test tomorrow. Wish I had wings so I could fly and skip the class!” or, “Why wouldn’t grandma allow me to play NES?! It’s just right there and I can’t reach it, so what’s the point of having it at the first place?!” or, “Miss Linda (my second grade teacher, btw) is really nice, she shared her chocolate pudding with me today.”

Then… Life happened. I graduated and went to junior high school. I thought, “Hey, I’m a big girl now. I don’t need these dumb diaries any longer.” Also, it was embarrassing to see those chubby handwriting and Hello Kitty stickers and ugly doodles I had made. There were 4 or 5 diaries I guess, and I burned them all.

Life continues. I am now an adult renting my own place, with bigger responsibilities, bills to pay and a career to build. It has never been easy for me for the last decade. I tend to be depressed easily. And get sick too often.

My fears accumulate over these years. Fear of losing more people I love. Fear of losing my job. Fear of not being accepted by other people. Fear of not being recognized for what I truly am. Fear of not being able to reach my dreams. Fear of not being good enough.

I am losing myself.

I am no longer happy nor brave as I used to be. I wish I could once again experience the happy life of a 6-year-old girl. She would cry for 10 minutes over not being allowed to play NES, and then cheerfully played Tamiya with her cousins. Her arrogant, snarky grandma? Totally forgiven. She had ranted about it on her diary anyway.

Recently I gave deeper thoughts into happiness. What can I do to be happy?

And then I stumbled upon Julia Cameron Live. Apparently it is the official website of Cameron’s 20-year-old book The Artist’s Way. Where the heck have I been?!

I have not read the book yet, but this particular chapter intrigues me more than the book itself: Morning Pages.

Quoted from the site:

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 about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. Occasionally colorful, more often than not Morning Pages are negative, fragmented, repetitive or bland.

Excuse me. Wha…?!

That is actually… a diary. That is what I did when I was 6 years old!

Here I am, sitting and thinking that writing diary is dumb, silly, for kids only, while out there a famous lady–who happens to be Martin Scorcese’s ex wife, btw–gains millions of dollars from the royalty of her book encouraging people to do it. And, apparently, more than a million people read it already. Including Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx!

HA!

That is it. I am going back to diary Morning Pages! It has to be my new routine. I want to be as happy as that cute 6-year-old girl from the past!

What about you? Do you keep a diary or a journal? Or, perhaps, do you think it is for kids only?

3 thoughts on “An Introduction to Morning Pages

  1. I’ve always been afraid to keep a diary or a journal. I was afraid my thoughts however right, wrong, or “out there” they were, would be read by someone other than me. I’m trying to change that and your “Morning Pages” is a really nice motivational idea. Thank you.

    • I’m glad you find it motivational. ^.^ To keep it private and safe, you can buy a diary with tiny lock, and then keep it in a locked closet, drawer or chest in your room. I did so with my diaries.

      When you bring it outside, try your best to never leave it. It’s your life, important for you. I never lost mine because, well, I’d set my mind: That my diaries were important for me.

      Hope these tricks help you. Good luck starting your new diary. ^.^

  2. My blogging and my poetry tend to be my diary/journal. I should probably do something like Morning Pages, but I’m too asleep… I’d have to do Evening or Nighttime Pages.🙂

    As you do your Morning Pages, here is a blog post I think you may find useful: http://growupproper.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/emotional-understanding-and-mastery/ (or you can read my repost of it at http://hk.longmore.org/2013/08/07/8-facts-you-need-to-know-about-your-feelings/ )

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