Morning Pages of a Prodigal Writer
From the author's workbook
It’s 5am on Wednesday, March 22, 2023. I am easing into being 32 years old.
I do not usually journal here. My morning pages are kept elsewhere in a red book without lines. But a blank page is still a blank page and I have ink that needs to run.
To write without thought, or perhaps to string a thought, to take a kernel and grow it somewhere else. I guess that’s it. For I’ve been writing with too much purpose lately. Writing for Challenges in hopes of placing or at least for validation. You are only as good as your last piece and when you see you can win or come out on top, you want to see if you can do it again.
And again and again.
So much so that the art is forgotten for the writing. That writing becomes more a process to profit than a process towards growth and learning. It feels good to take moments like this and just be a writer without thought, without purpose, without expectations.
To take the time and just wallow in the raw words that we write.
To let the ink flow and to follow where it leads.
To spill the first sentence from our minds no matter how long it runs or how short the fragment.
But we can only do so if we take the time. Take it back from the jaws of productivity, from the expectations of society, from the adage of time being money. We need to wrestle for our time to play with the very words we enjoy. Even a minute can be a victory, so long as that minute is ours to just write.
I wrestled and fought for this one hour to play and cleanse me of my words, the ones that demanded I write for profit. I took one hour for myself and the page and the ink to remind myself that I can write for my own pleasure. Words that do not need to see the light of day, but come out each time I write a morning page that is neither goal nor recollection.
Words just for me.
To remind me that I’m a writer, and to find the physicality of that word. To actually take up a pen and let out the nonsense I keep at bay for the sake of purpose and profit. To remember the pleasure of why I write.
I has to be pleasurable. I am up at 5am for crying out loud!
But I had been forcing myself up at 5am lately to go to work. To work on certain writing. The kind that blocked my mind and told me “this is hard. But push through.” I understand that is the process of writing and I do take joy in completing stories. But I’ve been doing that too much.
Which is why I’m playing now. Work can wait.
And I am energized by this flow. I came awake in the first line and I write in bursts of coherency. I wrote more in 10 minutes than I did in one hour stuck in the process. This is its own validation.
And now I find my eyes wandering to the incense I often light but did not. It would take precious time to burn it, but I”ve lit it so many times to know it would not have burned past half-way. Would I have burned the honeysuckle or the cherry blossom?
Definitely the honeysuckle. I need a stronger scent of spring and the cherry blossoms are too subtle for my mood.
I have written to the point where I feel a cleansing burning. The kind that tells you that you can start again. That when you come back to the page to actually work the words will flow freely. That there will be joy in the process again. Even in the harder bits.
As for the profit, well that can wait. The fact that I’ve remembered the joy of writing is its own validation. I can now look at the things on my table, write down what I see without worrying if anyone will like it.
Right now, I am looking at the cup that holds my pens and pencils. A plastic cup dyed with silver meant to hold a tealight candle. But it’s deep, lol. I got it from the Dollar Store for more than a dollar thanks to inflation. They need to make a profit too.
But when profit becomes the sole source of validation, stress and desperation follows. The thing that once brought you joy is now the thing you want to have feed you. And in pursuit of that goal we lose the art and the pleasure and the reason why we do what we do.
And the time to be what we are.
And so, I return, a prodigal writer, to the blank page. I write without purpose or punctuation. I write to play in this scant hour. I write to remember the flow of free words. I write for the pleasure of seeing them spill onto the page in compositions so abstract they could only be messes. And I take joy in every word, so much so that by the time I’m done playing I don’t want to stop.
It’s 6am and I remember what I am.
I am a writer.
Thank you for lingering.
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
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Love this. I have to start doing my morning pages again. I used to do them all the time but I got out of the habit.
Chills and cheers! "... and I remember what I am. I am a writer." Yes! YES you ARE, Loryne! In all you write and whatever you write - whether for others and especially when for yourself. Thank you for sharing such a personal piece 🤗
I love this! I have also gotten away from just writing whatever is on my mind and fallen into the trap of only writing when it’s for a contest. It can certainly lead to burnout and causes me to put the stories I’m in love with on the back burner far too often. Thank you for sharing this!
Hi Loryne, thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences in this beautiful piece. Your words resonated with me deeply, especially when you talked about the balance between writing for pleasure versus writing for profit or validation. It's so easy to get caught up in the pursuit of external recognition and lose sight of the joy that writing can bring. Your reminder to take back our time and play with words is so important, and I appreciate the way you described the catharsis of writing without thought or purpose. Your passion for writing shines through in every sentence, and it's clear that you truly love the craft. Thank you for inspiring me to approach my own writing with a renewed sense of wonder and curiosity.
😁 yeah. ✌️❤
I feel at home in your words. An avid writer, I was an adventurer and explorer until I decided it is time to pursue a writing career. Then it became all work and deadlines. Pressure and guessing at others' expectations. The story was no longer about the story. Short stories were prompt-focused rather than imagination-based. I suspect many of us go through this. I am joining spiritual, metaphorical hands with you and getting back to the point... writing for the joy of writing. Thank you for sharing this and reminding me to seek my peace and that I am not alone.
Splendid!!! Congratulations too!!!💖💖💕
Gurrllll, this was soooo powerful! The joy of writing is it's own validation. I forgot how true it is. I've been chasing numbers while losing the joy of writing. Gosh, this opened my eyes. I gotta start writing without purpose as well. That'll help soothe my soul. Thank you for writing and sharing this! Congratulations on your Top Story!
When I felt understood by the phrase “letting the ink out”- powerful.
Impressive workby any measure
Happy Birthday- 32 is a beautiful age and your words reflect your inner strength and beauty - this brought me to tears. I identify so much….and in my case, I feel an impending sense of running out of time. But all of you out here continue to inspire me and fan a flame in my heart! Keep rocking- you are a word diva lol ❤️💕
Oh hell yeah! I lingered and needed to do so. Writing for a profit is just like working any regular job or side hustle. My parents always used this phrase, "Be careful about how You earn Your money. It can become addicting." I know that I enter a lot of the challenges since I paid x amount of money for this Vocal+ membership. Yet, even with a plethora of entries it doesn't guarantee a win. It's not even about statistics. Making more doesn't guarantee You being viewed favorably in the eyes of somebody else. Still, I'm glad that I paid for the membership and figured out how prolific of a writer/poets I am. Regardless, I need to chase my own dreams again. When You find and fulfill Your purpose the money will flow naturally. I'd rather take my time to earn dollars that'll fall in line constantly be hounding for the next penny I'm scrounging.
Happy birthday. Thank you for sharing this heartfelt piece. It's such an important reminder.
Your morning pages are WAY prettier-sounding than mine, haha. Love this! Thanks for sharing <3
I kept a journal. Then stopped. Then started it again the day the WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic. And I still keep it going. Putting it on paper is a very different sensation and you should be proud of what you are doing. Hopefully, with the growing interest in stationery, this will be a trend. ;)
I thought this would be a top story when I read this earlier. Well done on a very relatable piece, Loryne! Yay Yay!
Yes, I knew this would be a top story!
Wow. See, that is exactly why I'm so for entries like this because it brings me back to the realization that I am not alone in this big writing world. Thanks.
and there it is. congrats on the TS
Wonderful stream of consciousness that connects to the reader directly, congratulations on top story!
Awesome ✨ Congratulations 🎉
Congratulations on your Top Story!
Great top story! And Happy Birthday too!