Yes. It’s what you are thinking. Writing. In the Morning. If you know me you are wondering what good I could possibly have to say about anything in the morning, given my tendency to despise mornings (with the exception of taking in an occasional beautiful sunrise). Let me explain.
I mentioned an author, Julia Cameron, in a previous post. She has written several books and has taught creative writing among other things. One can’t help but feel better about themselves as writers after spending a few minutes in her books. One of the techniques that she discusses in several of her books (and probably her classes too) is writing Morning Pages.
I first stumbled upon this idea when reading one of her books, The Right to Write, in the middle of the night. I was amused at reading about doing something early in the morning while I was up reading into all hours of the night. I was staying at a friends house in Seattle and she was kind enough to let me share a room with her sweet little 2 year old for the weekend. While I read, I immediately fell in love with the idea of writing 3 pages a day of stream-of-consciousness type of language. No censor, no inner editor. No public consumption. I remember creeping around her apartment at 1 in the morning looking for a pen so I could start my first 3 pages right then. I found a pen and that was the first day that I did my 3 pages.
She recommends that this be done every day. And in the morning. Right. I am NOT a morning person (in case I was too vague about that in the first paragraph) and I am NOT what one would call the queen of consistency. And yet. A challenge to do something in the morning. Every day. I must be a masochist. I have not mastered this concept yet. Not even close. But every now and then, I write my three pages and pat myself on the back for getting back on the horse. Of course, the momentary thrill was always overshadowed by the fact that I wasn’t consistently writing. That being said, I could care less if I write in the morning or in the afternoon or in the middle of the night, as long as I’m carving out time somewhere.
Yesterday, I was discussing goal-setting with my 13 year old daughter and talking about the concept of improving ourselves as we move throughout this life. As a result of this conversation (and many months of wanting to set this goal but being too afraid) I committed to myself to embark on a 12 week training schedule for a 1/2 marathon. This involves 5 days of running/walking and 2 days of rest each week, gradually increasing in distance as the weeks and days progress.
I was intending on keeping this goal a secret because the only thing I hate more than failure is public failure. But then I decided that I didn’t want to be a chicken and maybe if other people knew of my goals I would be less likely to become distracted and quit. So, my training began with 3 miles today. I DID IT! Day One = Success. Only 11 weeks and 6 more days to go!
In the spirit of self-improvement, commitment and public humiliation, I’m also making known another goal of mine. 3 pages of writing, every single day. Starting today. Same day as my marathon training. Am I crazy? Probably, but that’s not really the point. The point is that I’m gonna shoot for something (2 somethings, actually) that will improve my life. I’m hoping that I’ll make it – on both counts. Either way, though, I will be better off for having attempted it. So, I will be posting frequent updates on the status of both of these goals. Somehow, I feel that they are both tied together, for better or worse.
I found a website that will help me with my daily writing goal. 750words.com This website is brilliant and fun. It’s an easy way to write, track and save (confidentially) my 3 pages a day. Bonus: They have monthly contests and they give away badges for accomplishments. Prizes are what makes my world go ’round. So check out this site and consider joining. It’s free (yippee) and has fantastic, fun statistics about your writing. Did I say it was fun? Cuz it is!
I would love your feedback on this site and if you have suggestions about a fun (there it is again) site where I can track my marathon training…let me know. Preferably one with prizes.
Happy Reading, Writing (and Running)!