I keep a journal that I attempt to write in every day. I don’t make it every single day, but this is the first year where I have written in my journal almost every day compared to previous years. Look!!!
Several years ago, I first picked up Julia Cameron’s book, The Writing Diet. I ate that book up! (See what I did there?!) Anyway, in that book, Julia speaks of her daily writing activity she calls “Morning Pages.” She discusses Morning Pages in greater detail in her other book, The Artist’s Way, but I first read about them in The writing Diet. Morning Pages are nothing more than writing three full pages every single morning–freewriting. I loved the idea, so I gave Morning Pages a shot. More often than not, I ended up doing my “Morning” Pages in the evening rather than the morning.
I felt guilty that I couldn’t get my writing done in the mornings. I wanted so much to do Morning Pages just as Julia Cameron suggested. I loved every single part of the whole idea and I wanted to be successful with it. But I could not get up early enough to do my Morning Pages in the mornings.
Then I read Mari McCarthy’s Dark Chocolate for the Journaler’s Soul wherein one of the writers shared that she, too, struggled with writing in the mornings, so she simply starting doing “Night Notes” instead.
Huh. So I didn’t HAVE to do my writing in the mornings!!! And I didn’t have to feel guilty for it! So now I write in the evenings. I prefer to type. I did a few practice entries by hand so I could give myself an estimate of the total number of words I wrote in three pages (Julia’s guidelines for Morning Pages). I found that I could write approximately 750 words in three pages, so I try to write 750 words every day in my online journal. I don’t beat myself up if I don’t make it to 750 words, mainly because there are some days when I simply do not have a lot to say, but there are other days when I write way beyond 750 words! I wish my chain would show the days I have written more than once because I have several days when I wrote two or three entries and each entry was more than 750 words.
Currently, I have written approximately 170,000 words just in my online journal this year!!!!! I will easily hit 200,000 words before the year is out! Penzu (the online journal I use) sent me a message a few months ago when I first hit 100,000 words so I can have a free year of Penzu Pro next year! So cool! (Penzu basic is free, but if you go Pro, of course, there are many options, one of which is the ability to create several journals rather than just have one. I have divided my by year as well as by other categories as I choose!)
If I am able to win NaNoWriMo, I will easily have at least 250,000 words for the year! That’s a LOT of writing!!!!! And I LOVE every last bit of it!!!! None of the numbers I’ve shared includes any of the writing I do daily for work; I teach English at a community college! And now I also have this blog as well as two other main ones that I keep! (See the link at the top of the page, “Joy Regardless.”)