My Book of Me

Book of Me2018

© 2017 Julie Goucher

I promised yesterday I would tell you about my Book of Me, so here goes. After I came out of hospital from an extended post surgery stay I returned to writing my Morning Pages.

Morning Pages are a concept from the book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. In the book there are a number of stages and activities which are undertaken over the course of 12 weeks. The basic concept is that we are often bogged down by “stuff” and the best way of addressing that “stuff” is to write Morning Pages, amongst other things.

Every morning, for the last decade I have sat at my desk and written my Morning Pages. I write 3-4 pages every day, long hand in a Leuchtturm1917 A5 notebook, but you can use any notebook. I sit and write whatever is in my head; dumping on the paper worries, frustrations, ideas, exercises from the book and anything else. I am not especially creative, but firmly believe that the Morning Pages enable me to focus on whatever I need to focus on, whether that is a writing an article or chapter for my current project, research for me or someone else, reports, letters, etc.

What I found especially helpful at the start was attending a workshop on the Artists Way. Each week we would work through the book, share, not necessarily our writing, but our challenges in doing the Morning Pages amongst other things. Recently I lead a small group of about 25 people through the book again. I will be doing another of those workshops in around March.

A notebook lasts me about 2 months, so I get through 6 books a year and I have them all. I never re-read them unless I wrote an idea down that I want to look at again. A friend of mine has just completed her 10th Morning Pages anniversary and celebrated by burning her 10 year stack of notebooks. Mine are stored at the back of a drawer in the filing cabinet and are only used for my four pages every day.

I purchase a notebook about a week before I will run out of page and I whilst I always have a spare notebook or three they are not for Morning Pages, even if they are the same brand. The colour of the book I select for Morning Pages is random. I always buy from Amazon, I simply select the colour, I never change the selection and I make sure that I have lined (they do dotted, grid and plain too).

So I plan to use a separate Leuchtturm1917 which will encompass my prompt answers and bits stuck in to illustrate too. This is a journey that I should enjoy and feel comfortable with.  If I want to type something then I can always insert in using washi tape.

My current reading book is this slim tome that arrived on Thursday just as it was released. Having read the first few chapters of The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson already, I did reflect on my decision of creating a handwritten Book of Me, but feel that my Book of Me is important and should be kept in whatever format that I enjoy regardless of feeling guilty of leaving notebooks for the next generation, not that they are my next generation but the next generation of a family member! There is something very special about seeing the handwriting of an ancestor and I would like for someone to feel excited when they read mine in the future, even if they do have to overlook the dreadful handwriting!

So, just to get you in the mood, here are a few questions to answer:

  • Have you read The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron?
  • Are you planning to read the newly released The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson?
  • Have you decided how to keep your Book of Me?

Additional image credits


About Julie Goucher

Genealogist, Author, Presenter, native Guildfordian, avid note taker and journal writer. Lover of Books, Stationery & History; Surnames, Butcher & Orlando One-Name Studies. Pharos Tutor for all One-Name Studies/surname courses as well as Researching Ancestors from Continental Europe.
This entry was posted in Book of Me - Series 3 Getting to Know You (2018), Stationery, Filofax, Journals & Notebooks and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to My Book of Me

  1. Pingback: Favourite Book(s) #29 – The Writing Diet by Julia Cameron | Anglers Rest

  2. Pingback: Favourite Book(s) #3 – Artist’s Way: A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self by Julia Cameron | Anglers Rest

  3. Yes, new prompts will be posted on 1st of every month. You do not need to blog your answers and yes using a notebook is absolutely fine. The conversations and discussions will be in the Facebook Group which you are a member of I think?


  4. I am totally new to this and the group and I am feeling lost. I have read Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write. Is her earlier book similar. I have just checked the library and they don’t have any copies of The Artist’s Way and there are 5 people waiting to read it. I will just get a notebook with a special cover from Officeworks to write in. I hope that will be okay.


    • Barbara, I am sorry you are feeling lost, but am very glad you have decided to take part. Grab any notebook to do the prompts or use a blog or word document. This is a journey for you and you get to work on whatever prompt you wish to, one or all five. You can share or not as you wish. The most important thing is that you take part on your journey. connect with others in the Facebook Group and enjoy the journey.


      • I am trying to sort it out. Sorry I am elderly and it’s all challenging. It’s finding my way around the facebook page and remembering where i was when I found something I want to do again.
        I have the first five questions. My understanding is that we can do what we like with them and there will be new ones published on the first day of each month. Do I need to know what a blog and wordpress are? I am just planning to record my responses in longhand in a book. Is that okay?

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Barbara Leffingwell says:

    Hi Julie, I have not read either book, however will look into them. I have a blank journal sitting on my shelf, where it has been for a few years. I am going to start with it, and am excited! I found an ancestor’s Passport application that had his description, even a picture, and certainly a signature. I have a couple of letters written by my father, I still get emotional when I see them, so, just in case my descendants decide to be interested in their history, they will have a copy of my writing and a signature.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is the power of the mind that links things together. So I guess seeing the letters reminds you of your father. I first time I saw my Great Grandmother on the 1881 UK Census was very powerful. She was just a little girl about the age I was when I was placed on her knee or next to her on the bed for a snuggle. I was about 3 and she was into her 90’s. It is a happy memory. I only have to smell lavender and I am plunged back to that moment of being with her. What I find even more curious is the reaction and emotion felt when we read or see items belonging to an ancestor when we don’t have that memory of knowing them in the physical sense. It is remarkable.

      Enjoy the Book of Me and the notebook!


  6. cassmob says:

    I’ve got the Julia Cameron book but haven’t re-read it in ages. At one point I did Morning pages but not sure I want to continue with them, perhaps because it became a place to dump my worries.


    • I can understand that although from my personal experience I don’t consciously choose what to write. The pen hits the page and I am off! What I do find is that I often need to jot down something that is totally unconnected to what I was writing about. This morning I wrote about a Christmas reflection and thoughts of Mum, somehow how that jogged my memory to write stock cubes on the grocery list – how my brain connected those two things together I will never know!


  7. Joan says:

    I like your concept and your use of your Morning Pages. I have done Morning Pages for about 10 years or more. However, periodically I stop for a period — can’t find the book, company came and stayed, the dog ate my book, the cat shredded my book, or just that life happened. Not good reasons — or even good excuses. What i got from your blog post was a reminder that stirred my blook, spoke to my heart and guided me to my stack of new notebooks. When one is starting on a journey, a new notebook is a necessity. Thanks for your gentle and thoughtful words. Thanks for clearing the pathway to this journey of Morning Pages.


    • Joan, thank you for such a lovely comment. You are absolutely correct a new notebook is essential for a new journey and my notebook for the Book of Me is sitting at the of the desk willing me to start writing! I know many of the group I did the Artist Way with originally all talk about getting up earlier to achieve them but even when I was routinely leaving the house at 7 or 8 am I still found time for Morning Pages. I missed it when I was in hospital and when I came home I sat and just wrote and wrote and wrote, making it up for lost time!

      I also have a few post it notes, for some odd reason I am always prompted to add something to the grocery list or to add to my to do list. I guess it is very curious how our minds work.


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