Who knew there was so much crap in my head?

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I started my Morning Pages practice in this Seven Seas Writer on June 25, 2016 with the words, “The first day of what I hope becomes a life-long habit*—to get up and write in this book—or any book—before doing anything else.” [*Well, life-long from here on out. I’m a notoriously late-bloomer.]

I’d already filled a few pages with infrequent entries that spanned about 13 months. That’s the story of my journaling life. Months between entries. Fit and starts. Abandoned journals. So many abandoned journals.

But something clicked on that June day, and I made a vow to write every morning and to FINALLY fill an entire journal. How many vows I’ve made in my life. A vow to keep the kitchen counter clear. Fail. A vow to put away my clothes rather than stacking them on the trunk at the foot of my bed. Fail. Vows and I have a checkered history.

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But this one—this vow to religiously write my morning pages—took root. On April 24, 2017, I wrote the final sentence in this particular journal—”The mad rush of the week begins soon. For now I’m just enjoying filling these pages, then meditating. A little more time for peace and quiet. A blessing.”

I’ll be honest, I don’t write every day. Weekend mornings can be tricky because our sleep schedule and responsibilities vary, but during the work week, I’m up at 5:30 am to put pen to paper. Without hesitation. This feels like a miracle to me, as I am distinctly NOT a morning person. Yet I always look forward to sitting at my desk, even though I’m bleary eyed and a little disoriented with sleep and the haze of frantic dreams. It’s a miracle that this practice has stuck. That there is always something to say. To be grateful for. To work through. To ponder. To explore. Feelings, thoughts, difficulties, and joys—all there to be examined and recorded. This makes me feel a little brave.

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480 pages filled one letter, word, sentence, page at a time. Colorful inks flow from cherished pens onto the luscious Tomoe River paper. It’s like eating dessert before the day begins—a treat, a privilege, a joy. This writing fills me up and calms me down. The effect is almost medicinal.

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With the Writer finished, I immediately started journaling in a Seven Seas Crossfield that I’ve had waiting in the wings. The cross grid is tighter in this book than the lines were in the Writer—5 mm vs. 7 mm—so the pages take me a little longer to write and look more dense when they’re filled. But this is not a race. This is a practice—a practice that is now as important to me as breathing.

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One letter. One line. One page.

Forever.

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10 thoughts on “Who knew there was so much crap in my head?

  1. Mary, thanks for this lovely post! I went through the same experience as you: I never thought of myself as regular journaler, and I have the bodies of notebooks with a few pages written in them to prove as much. When I started journaling again in a pocket-sized Rhodia Webbie about two years ago I certainly didn’t think it would stick… and here I am, with a Nanami Paper Seven Seas Standard under my belt, forty pages into a new book. I don’t think I could ever wake up at 5:30 am to write (I’m very much a night owl, cracking open my journal around 2 am) but I’m glad that you’ve found a routine that works for you! Here’s to many more pages filled!

  2. I, too, have a checkered history with journals and the path behind me is littered with my failed attempts. I’m inspired by this post – thanks!

  3. O.k. That’s it. You’ve inspired me. I start tomorrow. Or the next day. Definitely some time this month. (Great post!)

  4. A lovely post, and inspiring for someone, who like you, always starts and stops, especially when it comes to journaling and notebooks. I have a Nanami Standard on my desk that I have been waiting for the right moment/date/event/words to start. I love that you know the date, and it doesn’t appear to anything special, other than the date you started. Gives me hope!

  5. Very nice! I have yet to fill a Seven Seas notebook, but in recent years my journaling has been sporadic. I recently made a concerted effort to start again so hopefully I’ll fill one eventually! (I’m also using a Seven seas notebook as a bullet journal / everyday dumping ground, but I hope that lasts forever because I have lots of random notes in there!!)

  6. I’m enjoying my fourth Seven Seas. Three have been Writers, My current one – nearly finished – is a Crossfield.

    I’d love to know what cover you have on yours? I very much like the contrasting stitching.

  7. I waited forever for my Seven Seas–because I live in Canada, the shipping was half the price of the notebook. Finally went for it and I have never looked back. It has only been a year or so since I started writing daily and I had several notebooks before I got my Seven Seas and I am glad for that because it gave me some “rules”: the page doesn’t have to be perfect, ink blobs will happen, some entries are shorter than others etcetera. It took awhile but finally I crossed over the most restrictive rule (I can use any ink I want!) and I have not looked back since then. At this point, writing in my journal is like a treat rather than a chore or obligation. I look forward to it everyday and sometimes multiple times a day.

  8. Pingback: Sunday Reads: Pen People And Pen Stuff | An Inkophile's Blog

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