The importance of journaling in a pandemic

Photo by Edwin Hooper on Unsplash

This is going to be a different kind of post. One where I don’t think or plan too much, and just let the words flow.

Last week, I joined the fabulous Writer’s Hour every morning at 8am-9am. I decided that instead of writing an article or attempting a novel, I was going to try morning pages. Something I had heard about before, but not really engaged in.

If you’ve never heard of it, morning pages is essentially journaling, first thing in the morning.

It is allowing the words to flow out of you and onto the page, it doesn’t have to be anything especially exciting or groundbreaking.

It could be reflections on something you’ve watched on TV, how you’re feeling about lockdown, or just a description of your day and the things going on around you.

I have to admit, I really love this kind of writing. There’s something really freeing about sitting down and just allowing your stream of consciousness to just flow out onto the page.

Every morning, I had a really focused hour — and my fingers really didn’t stop tapping the entire 60 minutes. My word count was up to about 1600, which is pretty good for an hour.

The main thing with morning pages is to release yourself from judgement- don’t worry about if the words are coming out wrong, or you think ‘why should I write about that? No one will find it interesting’ — that’s not really the point.

The point is to be fully present in the moment and allow whatever comes out to come out. Much like taking the lid off a bottle, and just seeing what’s inside.

This week, I’ve temporarily moved, so I didn’t join the writers group at all this week — I’ve been pretty exhausted. I plan to next week, but having a week off has been really beneficial to reflect on the benefits of morning pages, or journaling.

It’s fair to say we all have a lot on our plates right now. As I write, my grandma has had pneumonia, and is just out of hospital. My sister is also off work self isolating, my nephew is being homeschooled, and my stepmum is working from home — all because they have been in a building where someone has had the virus.

Photo by Albert S on Unsplash

That’s a lot to process in one week. That’s just my personal news — the top headlines in my life this week. Coupled with that, the news has been dramatic every day. In my town there is a Bookshop and cafe that refuses to close and is quoting the Magna Carta. In today’s Metro, they report on a young woman who has compiled a ‘My Little Crony’ data visualisation of all the government ties to corporates, friends and family during the pandemic. Oh, and Biden won the US election.

What can writing all of this do for us? I feel it can offer us an outlet, a way to process the uncertainty of the current moment, especially as things are changing on such a rapid basis.

We too, are changing with every new piece of information. We are making micro decisions that shape our life and the lives of others. We are living through a time like no other.

Regardless of how much or how little you have on your plate, journaling via morning pages is a really valuable exercise that can help you make sense of the crazy year that is 2020.


Freelance Copywriter | Experiments in #lifestyledesign, #productivity and #flow. Occasional #poet. Get in touch:

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