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
- The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson – Amazon
- Notebooks – Leuchtturm1917 webpage (https://www.leuchtturm1917.co.uk)