Writing bought me joy as a child. As an adult, I rediscovered the joy of writing when I completed 12 weeks of “The Artist’s Way” in 2018.
Putting pen to paper
I had tried to work through the book previously and had given up after a few days. This time around, I made it a part of my morning ritual rather than something I did when I could find the time. This paid dividends as something clicked, and I found myself invested in the process. It had become such a big part of my morning ritual that I carried on with journaling after I had completed the twelve weeks.
I want to say I wrote in a pretty journal – the fact is I didn’t. Why? Because I have this weird thing whereby the more beautiful the journal, the more that I think I need to save it for something special, which is ironic! I changed that attitude partway through the process and now I use pretty journals for my day to day note-taking and list-making and 1B5 exercise books for my journaling.
What are morning pages?
Over 12 weeks, you complete a series of tasks, which include, journaling, walking and an artists date. These activities help to kick-start and inspire your creativity. Every day you write three pages of unconscious stream of journalling. I sucked at the walking activity and never did it; however, I made sure I took myself out on an artist date and did my morning pages, so two out of three isn’t too bad.
Initially, it felt like a struggle; to write three pages – however, I persisted, and after a few weeks, the words came quickly. Over time, I discovered doing morning pages was a great way to get the things in my head out onto paper. Sometimes I was shocked at what would appear on paper.
Want to try journaling?
You can journal without having to read or complete “The Artist’s Way” activities. You don’t need a lot to start journaling: a pen and paper and an open mind are all you need. I’m old school and love pen and paper. However, if that isn’t your cup of tea, you could create a journal document online in word or create a private blog. Maybe downloading an app for your phone or tablet is more your scene or blending art and writing using a bullet journal. Whatever you chose– set aside time each day whether its 10 minutes or 30 minutes.
Where do I start?
If you need some inspiration or want to reignite your creativity you could; grab a copy of “The Artist Way” and work your way through the book. Or you could begin by letting your mind wander and write three pages of unconscious thoughts. If you find that daunting – try one page or download my handout with some journaling prompts to help you get started.
Don’t worry about spelling and punctuation. The point of unconscious writing is to let the words flow and not overthink what you are writing. Don’t censor yourself. When I complete my morning pages, I don’t go back and re-read my entries. I close my journal and reopen it the next day to write a new entry. You don’t have to share what you write with anyone.
Benefits of journaling
There are many benefits to journaling such as;
- clarity and insight
- being a useful reflection tool
- working through emotions
- reducing stress
- viewing a situation in a new light
- letting go of long-held beliefs
- rediscovering a passion
- another form of meditation
- being patient and kinder to ourselves.
These are just some of my thoughts about journaling. Like anything in life, take from this post what works for you and put your touch to it. There are no hard and fast rules.
If you need some inspiration – download my 11 journaling prompts to start you on your journaling journey.