daily practices: write in your journal

The third phase of reigniting my journal practice was moving past the collage pages and showing up to write. Let me tell you, my brain has fought every step of the way. But, to be honest, that’s usually how it happens when something is going to be beneficial for me.

I am only in the beginning stages of reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, and am pretty familiar with the concept of “morning pages.” Every fellow writer I have talked to has suggested this practice. Sit down first thing in the morning and brain dump on three pages. Simple, right?

Honestly, it’s not. Starting a routine, particularly when also managing a household is difficult. Trying to think of the logistics made me feel guilt and shame. Everyone in the family would wake up if I set my alarm earlier. My mornings are too busy. I can’t reconfigure our routine, it’s already working.

It wasn’t easy. I prayed a nine-day novena to Our Lady Untier of Knots asking her to help open the creative well inside of me, among other things. I plan on covering this in another post, but I suddenly found myself writing three pages every morning.

There wasn’t some “secret” behind it. Instead of pushing myself out of the comfort of our routine, I worked it into our routine. While my son eats breakfast, I write at the table in my traveller’s notebook. I’m gentle with myself if I get interrupted, or have to finish after the bus comes.

I realized that no one was going to push me to do this daily practice, and I had to make it work in a practical way for me. I have a habit of trying to set new habits by going way too hard right out of the gate. It ends up being unsustainable, and before you know it, my new goals may forgotten and I feel defeated.

Adding morning pages to my daily practice has provided me with a sense of accomplishment first thing everyday. It has helped me address some emotions I didn’t know I was dealing with. It contains dream records, as that’s usually what I’m thinking of first thing…so the benefits have extending past my expectations. I also include a word of the day definition, as well as a morning Oracle pull.

This long-winded post is my way of saying do the thing. It sounds so simple, and for those of us with busy lives, chronic pain or illness, and other uncontrollable factors…it seems like not very helpful advice. But don’t take a practice and copy someone else’s. I found success once I tailored it to my life. Daily practices are not one size fits all. This is what works for me for now. Be fluid and gentle as you approach new habits, and you’ll find greater success.

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