What other people say about journaling
Lots of people keep journals. As in hundreds of thousands.
Maybe even millions.
Comparatively, only a few people write about the process of keeping a journal. And in the genre of writing about journal writing, some people write about the benefits of journaling, some write about the journals they keep, and others still write with suggestions for what to write in your journal.
There is one guru in particular to whom I’d like to pay homage as part of the 31 day challenge.
Someone who validated that what I was doing each time I picked up my pen to write in my journal was interacting with something deep and even spiritual. A part of me that deserved to be nurtured and would enrich my life if it was.
That guru is the awesome Julia Cameron.
Creator of The Artist’s Way and maker of many things, Julia Cameron has encouraged the development of the creative spirit within thousands of people. And one of her key tools is the Morning Pages.
The two times I have worked my way through The Artist’s Way in a group setting it was downright comical how all of us muddled our way through Morning Pages. Loving the idea, hating the discipline required, and ultimately loving the result.
If you don’t know about Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages, here’s the skinny. You wake up each day and one of the first things you do is write free form to fill three pages. You are encouraged to write without stopping, whatever comes to mind, without censoring, without editing, and without even necessarily reviewing your morning pages. The idea is that this process helps to clear your head for the rest of the day so that you can go into the world a more focused and open being.
And also, you get the fabulous benefit of processing whatever it is that’s on your mind. But this piece doesn’t really sink in until you’ve been doing the pages for a couple of weeks.
It’s a big requirement to do. It means setting your alarm perhaps 30-minutes early or even in some cases reorganizing your morning routine to include morning pages. This is a huge habit to develop.
It also works. You can feel like you’re ready to take on the world. After awhile, in my experience, writing morning pages was like taking Windex to a nasty piece of glass and wiping away the scum. Day after day. At first I had to use a lot of elbow grease to break through the grime and it was hard.
It was hard to get up each morning to write before doing anything else. But, it got easier, and I felt better.
It sounds rudimentary, but there it is. For lack of a more awesome word in this case, I simply felt better.
And so, today I encourage you to not feel like your journal has to be a place to capture one of the greatest stories ever told.
Your journal is your private, sacred space, where you can explore whatever you’d like.
If you can’t think of anything to write, simply put your pen on the paper, and fingers on the keyboard, and write that: I have no idea what to write.
Then see where it takes you.
Prompt for today: What is one habit or change you want to make in your life and struggle to make? What is one small step you could do today to get started?
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Sara Marchessault is a coach, writer, and mom who helps busy women use journaling to create more space in their life for being productive without feeling overwhelmed. To learn more about Sara and her work in the world, please visit joyfulbydesign.com or saramarchessault.com.