Pen to Paper

Pen to paper. Pen to paper. Time to write three pages.

I am attempting to do what Julia Cameron calls the “Morning Pages.” That means I am supposed to get up and put pen to paper and write three pages, and do it before I do anything else. Even before coffee. Like that’s gonna happen.


My morning coffee is a must. My morning coffee is a must.

Although morning is the best time for me to write (best time to do just about anything, actually), I find it hard. I have been in this rut, feeling like I have nothing to say.

People have said I should reflect on one of my dreams. I don’t dream. Well, that’s not true. We all dream. But I rarely remember my dreams. Maybe once or twice a year I can wake up and recall a fleeting piece of one of my dreams. It’s about once every year and a half that I can actually remember a whole dream. So writing about dreams is out.

The weather is nice these days, so I can go outside to write. I didn’t do that this morning and have regretted it. On the other hand, how can I go sit outside to write when the birds are out there begging to have the feeder filled? Does that make two things I have do do (coffee and birds) before I start on my Morning Pages?


Enjoying breakfast. Enjoying breakfast.
And of course I have to refresh their water. And of course I have to refresh their water.

So that makes three things to do if I count food and water as separate items. Then I will feel badly that the dog is inside, so I’ll go get her, leash her up, and hook her to my chair. Four things to do.

Chloe enjoying the cool morning patio. Chloe enjoying the cool morning patio.

I am not sure what the answer is. I only know it’s time for me to kick-start my writing again. I still feel as though I have “nothing to say,”but forcing myself to sit and write each day may uncover something I have forgotten, repressed, or simply ignored.

Fingers are crossed that this works.


Published by Emilie

I'm a retired instructor from a community college where I taught Developmental English and Reading as well as English as a Second Language. I'm also now a published author of a bilingual children's book entitled. Luisa the Green Sea Turtle - Luisa la Tortuga Verde del Mar. It's available from me, through Amazon, and is in a few (more and more each day!) bookstores.

Join the Conversation


  1. Emilie, I don’t sit and write first thing in the morning either. I have a morning routine of meditation, sending Reiki, writing in my gratitude journal and reading my daily inspirational emails. I love what Steven Pressler says in *The War of Art*. Do your morning routine, then when all that is over, go into your writing space intent on working. He has a little ritual he does every time he sits down to write. I like that idea, though I haven’t created a writing ritual. Maybe I’ll start one. Good luck on continuing your writing. I’m excited to read and make comments.

  2. I think you should sit and write when you feel like it, even if it is only to write recipes, jokes you heard, bothering friends (like me) or how good it feels to sit and look around. The thing is to write. I can’t wait to read whatever it is you write about…

  3. The idea of the morning pages is exactly that — stream of consciousness, right out of the sleep state, preferably before your morning pee and certainly before your morning coffee, etc. etc. It’s not the writing. It’s the exercise of writing. Best to keep those morning pages in a stack and do a ritual burn once in a while as they are not much for re-reading but they will tap into that unconscious brain and maybe stimulate some real writing later in the day.

  4. sometimes we go through periods of incubation. like deciduous trees, there’s a time when energy is devoted to growth, and there are rest periods! with my art, i kick myself a bit and demand: JUST SHOW UP! Ten minutes after sitting down w/paint or pencil, i’m in another world and wonder why that was so hard – …

    sometimes it’s like a dog that has to turn round and round several times before snoozing!

  5. I think it will- it’s worked for my writer friends and for me, even though I’m not as consistent as I’d like to be. Take heart!

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