Friday, February 25, 2011

(Early) Motivation Mondays: Show Me Your Notebooks!

I'm posting this early because I've got the Praxis on Monday; I need to forget that the internet exists so I can get all unscattered by then. I've moved on from tears and worry to determination, so that's a good sign. Send me good thoughts if you do that sort of thing.

This week, I’m curious about your notebook-life. What do they look like? How many do you have going at a given time? You can even send me pictures, if you want. I’d be fascinated to see them. (

Unsurprisingly, my notebook-life is neurotically specific:

--As recommended by Lynda Barry in What it Is, a nice looseleaf binder for first drafts.

---A regular wide-ruled 1 subject spiral notebook for morning pages.

Ever since the first time I did The Artist’s Way, (on the advice of a therapist, way back 11 years ago in Laguna Beach) I’ve been writing 3 pages every morning as soon as I wake up, before anything. Well, not before making coffee.

If I miss my pages, I feel groggy and weird.

The first forty minutes after you make up and 40 minutes before you go to sleep is called your hypnagogic state. As I understand it, your mind’s defenses are lowered during that time, so that things can more easily work their way out of your subconscious—something like that.

It’s not that I write anything good in the morning pages. Usually it’s just gibberish, default phrases, and petty nonsense that makes me glad that my handwriting is illegible. But getting that stuff out of the way makes room for other things to come out, I think. Also it’s a good way to remember your dreams, if you like that sort of thing.

---A Happiness Book

Unitarians are big on gratitude journals, but keeping one made me feel unworthy and annoyed, so I switched over to making a list each day of 10 things that made me happy the day before. “Washing the dishes” shows up a surprising number of times.

---An Anxiety Book

I think I’ll write a whole post about this sometime, but suffice it to say, when it gets full, it goes RIGHT in the recycling.

---A little paisley notebook in my purse. It has some notes in it, sure, but mostly it’s full of drawings by my nieces and nephews and by the children of family friends. This makes me feel like a millionaire!

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