Many years ago, I began doing morning pages as suggested by Julia Cameron in her wonderful book The Artist’s Way. Those pages were a way to help me begin to navigate my way out of an unproductive, soul-killing job and to reignite my inner fires of creativity and vitality.
However, over time, these pages morphed into an perpetual whinging session and I felt like I was stuck in a rut. They became burdensome and a chore to do… so the practice lapsed and I occasionally wrote in a journal because I ‘should’. I had spent money on the notebook and fancy pens, after all. Then, I tried to use electronic pages over at 750words.com because I could access them anywhere and have privacy simply by logging out. It worked for a time, until the badges and “oh, shiny” became the motivation, and it was far easier to cut-and-paste words to make the magic finish line and get the gratification of insta-reward. None of which, of course, served me any purpose — a page filled with the electronic equivalent of gold stars is a hollow reward.
I began prowling Pinterest — browsing truly is too weak a word to describe my wanderings there — and collecting ideas, images, and inspiration. I pulled out my dusty red book and momentarily grieved that I still had 28 blank pages left in it after 2 years. Then I began using my inspiration and filled those pages in a week.
While the lists of prompts to be found on Pinterest seem to be either too shallow or too introspective for me to consider at the moment, I am enjoying seeing how others are using their journals. In my prowling, I found one entry that had the current day listed, and a few sentences written down next to the letter.
Liking the idea, I copied it and am enjoying the merger of morning pages and structure in the journal. I am also playing with colour and looking forward to expanding to doodles and (hopefully) watercolour sketches. My journal is no longer for morning pages, but an everything book.
I am coming home to myself, and I am enjoying the journey.