This year I am trying to do Julia Cameron's (The Artist's Way) Morning Pages and so far I am sticking with it. Julia Cameron says this about them:
Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand.
I started writing these pages on the 8th December last year, and have written almost every morning since. I started the week before my only son left my home for his own student digs at university, and I really believe they have helped me cope with the loss of his reduced presence in my life. I so agree with something Julia said in her blog, about the effect they have on my day:
I like to think of them as windshield wipers, swiping away anything that stands between you and a clear view of your day
For my eyes only
Unlike a journal or blog, the morning pages are "for my eyes" only. I feel safe to write whatever I need to, knowing that they are intended for an audience. So far (and it is early days still), they have certainly helped me think more clearly for the day ahead, vent frustrations, voice hurts, and yes, make endless lists when necessary. One unexpected benefit has been that my handwriting is slowly improving again (I always type things, but Julia insists that for the pages to work, they must be handwritten). My handwriting is becoming a pleasing mix of cursive and print, with my own adornments. I'm liking it a lot.
One thing I am trying hard to do is to be present, trying not to wallow in the past or fret about the future - two things I'm really good at. Julia believes that the "pages render us present in our life". Maybe that's why I am managing to write them every day - I write, get everything out on paper and then forget about them, moving on with my day.