Posted tagged ‘Morning Pages’

Writing for What?

August 14, 2022

writing penOver 30 years ago, I started free-form journaling nearly every morning.  Back then, Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way (which was the hot self-help creative guide) recommended this writing these Morning Pages as part of her program to recover your inner artist.  The secret ingredient in Morning Pages is that you write the stream of consciousness, no thinking please and let whatever shows up find its way to the paper.  Accoutrements like grammar and spelling don’t matter.  Nor does what your inner critic and your conscience disapprove of … it takes some practice but eventually you can shut them down or ignore them, a useful life-skill few of us are taught. (more…)

Just My Type

May 29, 2014

ten reasons longhand is better from an earlier post

For almost twenty years, I have … on and off … started my day with a form of freeform journaling dubbed Morning Pages by Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way.  In the early years, it was almost always on … for the last few, frequently off.   I have found it a useful way to slow down the maelstrom in my head and see what’s really going on in there, perhaps even consider what I’d like to have going on in there.  My day goes better when I take the time, yet now, when I have more time at my disposal, I find myself skipping Morning Pages.  There was a time that I took skipping MPs, as I call them, a sign that I was avoiding something and perhaps that’s true.  But I also have a frustrating aspect to my personality that I am sometimes inclined to neglect exactly those behaviors that benefit me the most.   I’ve noted here before that no single activity calms me more than meditation and yet it remains at most an occasional component of my life.   I’ve noticed that I’ve skipped Morning Pages more since I became a regular blogger.  I wonder if perhaps posting hasn’t replaced Morning Pages as my morning write.  I’ll say this … producing a post I like stops the maelstrom in my head and is creatively more fulfilling than Morning Pages but it is nowhere as useful in revealing the thoughts within that maelstrom, partly because some of those thoughts don’t belong in the public domain.   I suppose it’s a possibility that after twenty years, there are no new thoughts within the maelstrom which makes the hour or so it takes to do MPs just plain boring.  Nah. (more…)

Almost Autumn

September 28, 2013

autumn sky

For perhaps twenty years, I’ve used our local parks as a periodic retreat from the bustle of life, a time to write, read, pray and meditate.  Or sometimes, just sit quietly and watch the  world go by.  In my big industry days, I arose early and stopped by a park on my way to work.  Although I’ve been fortunate to have jobs where some tardiness was tolerated, weekdays were always a little rushed so my Saturday mornings in the park became particularly valued.  At this point in my life, my schedule is more flexible but old habits persist.  Saturday mornings are still special. (more…)


June 30, 2013

hotSaturday morning, I didn’t get to the park until almost ten o’clock … we have company coming in  the next week and I needed supplies from Home Depot for some repair. The Accuweather app on my phone was predicting that the day would be the hottest so far in our current heatwave … it was already 85° and humid.  OK, I’m from back east … I know that by national standards 50% humidity isn’t that high but we’re spoiled here in Socal, at least with respect to humidity.  I parked in the shade and set up my stuff … coffee cup, mp3 player, mini-speaker, and my messenger bag full of writing supplies … on a shady picnic table and began to write.   Over the years, it has been my habit to talk to God in my journaling … that seems like a natural way for a writer to communicate with his Higher Power.  It has also become a habit to let God answer back by writing what I think God might say.   For convenience, God writes in all capital letters.   Now before you accuse me of hubris, heresy, or delusions, let me make it clear that I know I’m writing the answers … God isn’t taking over my pen and I don’t take anything I write as God’s proxy too seriously.  It is simply a comfortable way for me to maintain the Conscious Contact prescribed by the 11th Step.  And sometimes, I get insights into my life in the process.   If those insights are helpful, does it really matter if they come from inside or out? (more…)

Question. Answer.

June 5, 2013

Q_AFor the last several months, I have been working with a new sponsor.   No, I haven’t dumped the dear friend who taught me so much through my twenty years working the 12-Steps, I’ve just added a second mentor who lives locally, one I can meet with every week and see at my meetings.  It gives me a level of accountability that I can’t get long distance and I communicate better in person than on the phone.  He’s younger than I am and has fewer years in program, as we like to say.  It’s a nice antidote to the kind of inflexibility that can set into an old brain.   We’ve begun working through the Steps again in a book that didn’t even exist when I first did them with my first sponsor.  Each chapter covers a Step and ends with a set of questions.  My new sponsor told me, If you were a newcomer, I’d have you journal on each question but I’ve never worked with someone with 20 years in the program.   I said, That sounds good to me. (more…)

Write Now

May 29, 2013

writing penLast week, a few friends and I were talking about obsessions and compulsions.  I commented that I can be a little obsessive (or is it compulsive?) about posting every day on Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog.  OK, I don’t make it every day but I come close, and if morning comes and I haven’t posted, I can get a bit frantic.  Sit down and Write Now, my Inner Obsessive-Compulsive tells me.  Sometimes, the only solution is Forced Writing, sitting down at the keyboard and writing something.  I have a love-hate relationship with Forced Writing, or more correctly, a hate-love relationship.  I hate when I’m sitting there pecking at the keys and getting nothing but I hate it even more when I’ve spent 30 minutes writing a topic that sucks.  Do I start over or … as my business partner likes to say … polish the turd?  Then every now and then, something I really like shows up.  I REALLY love when that happens, enough, even, to tolerate the times I hate it.   Don’t get me wrong.  I’ve had writer’s block, especially when I’m working on something long and intricate like a (long) short story or a novel.  There, I can get wrapped around the axle on characterization or plotting.  That’s one of the reasons I like very short pieces and, especially, blogging.  If I bang away on the keyboard for an hour or so, I’m likely to produce something acceptable … and occasionally, exceptional.   When that happens, it doesn’t matter if anyone else thinks it’s exceptional.   It is the best of the creative experience. (more…)

Fancy Journals

February 6, 2013

green journalWhen I started journalling … a habit that later became Morning Pages … I purchased a few bound journals at Borders.  I quickly found, though, that I was inclined to try to write something appropriate to the journal’s binding, that is, something beautiful instead of the sort of putting out the garbage that journalling can turn out to be.  Two dollar spiral-bound, college-ruled notebooks from Target turned out to be better suited to my Morning Pages but because my family knows I journal, I still regularly receive nicely bound journals as gifts.  So, if you were to poke through my office bookcases, you’d find an assortment of these tucked away among the books.  Most have a only few pages filled, remnants of some project that I thought would be perfect for a fancy journal then lost interest in.  This year’s gift, a black Moleskin journal given to me by my daughter, is my Project Book, were I keep track of my projects for the year, writing down progress each day.  In theory, anyway.  There is a 85% chance my Project Book will end up in the bookshelves with only a few pages filled. (more…)


December 2, 2012

park sunrise.
Have you heard about the Dial-A-Prayer for atheists?  You call 1-800-xxx-xxx and it rings but no one answers
Well traveled anonymous joke

I find this near one-liner to be extremely funny, even though it describes my relationship with God for about 80% of my life.  I never really wanted to be an atheist so I called myself an agnostic.  Guess what?  God never answered the Dial-A-Prayer for Agnostics either.   After all, who would remain an agnostic if God actually picked up the phone?  So, after a while, I pretty much stopped calling.  All my life, I’ve known people who have a firm belief in God and the power of prayer.   They would say God answers their calls, although to my eyes, their prayers weren’t answered any more often than mine.  It’s often seemed to me that this is where believers get to be apologists for God.  When terrible things happen, we let God off by suggesting God has a Greater Plan that we aren’t privy to or let our relationship with God be about the Next Life, not this one.  We attribute the evils to the influences of God’s Fall Guy, Satan, on poor, weak mankind.  But didn’t God make mankind weak … and create Satan, for that matter?  I know people who say they hear God when they pray or meditate.  I try to give them the benefit of the doubt, even though they make me a little nervous.  People who are sure they know what God wants have done some serious damage in this world. (more…)

What It Is

August 15, 2012

More and more often, I’ve been leaving my Wednesday post … usually on art or writing … for Wednesday morning, something I rarely did in my first two years of blogging.   Am I becoming more relaxed about the whole thing … or a little burned out after posting almost every day for a year and a half?  That depends on which Wednesday you ask.  Last night, it was burned out … nothing came to mind.  The plan was to write something first thing today.  But today started with a call from my sometimes employer, a company that places experts for short term jobs like consulting on legal cases and evaluation of technologies.  It looks like I have another assignment, although one never knows until the signatures are on the page. Between my hourly rate and what they charge for placing me, there can be sticker shock to someone not used to employing experts.  I’m worth it, not just because I really am an expert but because I work very hard for my clients. (more…)

Starting Right

June 24, 2012