Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Sacred Writing Time: My Morning Pages


My sacred writing time is in the morning. (I borrowed this phrase of "sacred writing time" from the amazing Whitney!) Morning is a sacred time for me, period. I am a morning person.  I wake up, grab my notebook, and write. I'm going to be honest...it doesn't happen everyday...it never happens like that during the summer, but during the school year, that's how I start my day.

Thirty minutes. A notebook. Sit down and write. Julia Cameron first introduced the idea of morning pages to me in the 90s. Her instructions are, "Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing,done first thing in the morning. *There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages*" (from Cameron's website)

During the writing institute we started each day with time to write morning pages. When I showed up to those pages, I wrote a lot and felt good when I was done. Other days, I sat and wrote and tweeted and got some water, and checked me email...distracted doesn't get me the same effect. Writing morning pages is like meditating, it takes practice. Be kind to yourself when you struggle to sit for thirty minutes or three pages. Show up everyday.

I'm renaming my practice, Sacred Writing Time, and I'm going to incorporate it into my instruction this year. The "how I'm going to do it" is still percolating. This summer I found that having two questions focused me and helped me sustain my writing for longer. They were simple questions…
1. How am I feeling today?
2. What is my intention for the day?
Sometimes my writing focused on one question for the entire time and other times the answers were short and I moved on to write about other things. I return to Cameron's words, "There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages."

Show up every single day. Take our your notebook. BE there for your sacred writing time. Find a spot. Make it your own...a place where you want to be. I light a candle. 


Take a deep breath. Write. I need silence for my sacred writing time, but maybe you need some inspirational music. Whatever works for you...get it done. Celebrate every single time you write! Congratulate yourself. Showing up is a big thing.

Thank you to Ramona for asking the question that inspired this slice! 
Thank you to the Two Writing Teachers for this amazing platform to write and share writing! What a wonderful community you've created! I'm honored to be part of it. Join us at Two Writing Teachers.

16 comments:

  1. I am also a morning person but did not establish a morning writing routine this summer, as I had hoped. I think I was waiting for something to write about. Your post has helped me see that it doesn't have to be so. I still have a few weeks to develop a morning notebook habit. Thank you.

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  2. Thanks Michelle for a great name and idea that can transfer into a classroom! Now, how will I approach this....
    Maribethbatcho

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  3. Inspired by a blog post this spring (It may have been yours, Michelle!), I began morning writing this summer. It has become a cherished part of my day. It's immensely satisfying to see pages accumulate and then discover what emerges simply from taking this time day after day to write about my noticings, my thoughts, my feelings, my life. It's such a journey! I'm determined to continue this practice into the school year. I really like your idea of having guiding questions and may incorporate those, especially on days when I struggle with being there in mind as well as in body. Thanks!

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  4. I so admire your dedication to your writing life Michelle.You are an inspiration to many of us.

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  5. I so admire your dedication to your writing life Michelle.You are an inspiration to many of us.

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  6. It's so wonderful how you have this sacred writing time. Your description of it is beautiful.

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  7. When I take the time to get those things out and on the page, I see how my day goes better and my writing is smarter. I need sacred time as well. Thanks for the reminder.

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  8. It's that old BIC, isn't it? Showing up to write whenever you decide is "your" time is what needs to happen. How great that you had that week with the group to boost your spirit, too. And having the time is important for students, too, offering their thoughts to the page.

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  9. Love the concept of sacred writing time - and I love Julia Cameron, too. It is a beautiful practice and something I seem to be much better at during the summer...need to intentionally plan my school mornings to include this. Thanks for sharing!

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  10. i love the morning writing time... i am using it in my classroom and i plan on writing with them as well!

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  11. You have so many great words of inspiration in this post. My favorite, be kind to yourself. Thanks so much for sharing this with us. I have started my morning pages and some morning yes, I am writing. Others mornings, it just didn't work for me. And then there were the morning pages that were written in the early evening! Oh well! I'm starting off with small steps and am writing just one page for now. I'll eventually get to the three pages, but I'm such a newbie. Like anything else, we make time for what we value most. Thanks, Michelle!

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  12. Sacred writing time - that is a perfect name for those quiet times in the morning for writing and introspection.

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  13. Yesterday, I sat fussing with nothing to write. I looked in my writing notebook that was a mess with notes from reading and conferences. Clearly I was doing it all wrong. After doing a little research I was reminded (yes I did Cameron's work years ago... another story) of morning pages. I started to write a slice on my journey to rediscover morning pages but stopped short. I did find the notebook to start them in though. And now I read your post. The universe is telling me something....

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  14. Your dedication to morning pages -- every single morning -- is admirable. prior to having Isabelle, I found myself writing first-thing in the morning. Now I do it after she goes to bed. It's not the same. The house isn't as quiet. Interruptions abound. There is little tranquility when you're tired from the day.

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  15. Sacred Writing Time--I like that new name! I did morning pages one summer and it was transforming. I think I need to create a corner to write without any distractions...any advice?

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  16. I light the candle, too! Hope you are well!

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