Tomorrow will be the three month mark for my morning pages. On December 21 I started a morning routine of writing in my journal every single day. Much to my surprise, I’ve only missed a handful of days which makes this my longest stretch of journaling ever!
I’ve always wanted to be the person who had stacks and stacks of filled notebooks on her shelves, but thought that I would never be able to stay consistent enough with the practice to make that a reality. But once I made it a priority and put aside chunks of time dedicated to writing in my journal, it became possible. I wake up early to guarantee that I will have the time to write, which wasn’t easy at first, but I developed a few tricks to help me.
- I prep my coffeepot the night before and set it to brew five minutes before my alarm is scheduled to ring.
- I position my alarm on the opposite side of the room from my bed. This forces me to get out of bed to shut the dang thing off.
- Now this is the most crucial step. I maintain a forward motion after I’ve turned off my alarm. I do not turn around. I do not pass go. I walk out of that room and away from my bed.
- I use the bathroom. The light in the bathroom helps to wake me and the smell of coffee two rooms away gets my mouth salivating. Now I must have coffee!
And that is my big secret to waking up early. I’ve tried all of this before with the goal to exercise in the morning. That didn’t work. Knowing that burpees are coming up always created a detour between steps 2 and 3. So I guess that means that I also need to know that I’m going to enjoy the activity that I’m waking for. And I do – it is always worth it after I’ve crawled out of bed.
Aesthetically, nothing pleases me more than seeing lines and lines of my handwriting in a book. There’s nothing as wonderful as rubbing my hand over a written page and feeling the bumpiness from my writing that has transformed the page into a new texture.
Mentally, it’s a total brain dump. I’m not worried at all about making sense. One sentence might be about washing dishes and the next will be about our chickens. For a while, I was writing down the first time I heard the rooster crow each morning. It would go something like, “… and it was such a beautiful image – rooster crowing at 5:12a – of my children being so sweet to each other.” No lie. It was that abrupt. (I thought that I might create a chart out of that data, but decided that it probably wasn’t necessary.)
I’m not worried about it being as beautiful as Thoreau or Plath’s journals. I’m not setting the expectation to write about something earth shattering or philosophical. I’m just writing what’s in my head and getting my worry thoughts out of circulation and tucked away onto a page that I’ll probably never read again.
And I’m getting closer and closer to having stacks and stacks of notebooks on my shelves – and what could be better?