The Journal That Changed My Life

It all started a few years back.

Journaling was something that had always fascinated me ever since I was gifted a red diary by my maternal uncle. To my nine-year-old self, it was the best gift ever. For days I recall fondly staring at it and wondering how to begin writing. I pondered for days and one day, heartbroken after a tiff with my best friend in school, I remember pouring my heart out. I wrote copious prose until I ran out of words to express my sorrow and my hurt. When I shut the diary and left it on my bookshelf, I clearly felt lighter as if a massive weight had just been lifted off my tender shoulders. It was the beginning of an amazing journey for me, one that continued through the decades, as life took me through various twists and turns, while I travelled across three continents.


My journaling practice continued. More than three and a half decades later, a chance conversation with a friend led me to Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, which, as we all know, is a seminal book on harnessing creativity. I was so impressed by it that it took over my life in a way that I would never have anticipated. The ritual of writing the Morning pages—that bedrock tool of creative recovery was one of the most inspiring and therapeutic practices that I had just discovered and doing three pages of long hand stream-of-consciousness writing was so amazing—they just led me to uncover everything that stood between me and my creative expressions, enabling me to clarify how best I could tap into the potentially promising day ahead. It was one of the best creative practices that I had been led to, and thank God for that! The habit of writing the Morning Pages became an inseparable part of my daily routine. It kept me sane through the chaotic roller coaster rides of life, through the unsettling times, the pandemic and the aftermath of it.


A few days back, as I sat in the balcony and reflected over the recent months, I realised how much I have been missing the morning routine. I missed the ritual of waking up even before the first rays of light break over the horizon, the joy of seeing the dawn and attempting to capture the serenity in my Morning Pages! Life has changed in many ways and yet, the lure of the early hours still haunts me, while I toss and turn, trying to snugly dig into my pillow and catch a shut eye. I’ve not been a morning person for the last couple of months and now, all I’m trying to do is slip back into my old routine again!

My Journal, where I write my Morning Pages sits pretty on the desk, waiting for me. I switch off the lights, send out a silent prayer into the Universe, so I may fall asleep without much struggle, dreaming of alighting in the wee hours, tucking in my journal and pen, walking into the living room, to settle into my favourite seat, with a cup of tea and get ready to write!

Written as part of our #SoulfulSunday free writing exercise, along with my friends Vinitha and Shilpa.

Also linking this with #FictionMonday hosted by Vinitha Dileep on her blog Reflections. The post was written for the picture prompt shared below:

8 thoughts

  1. I hear you, Esha. Beginning the day with morning pages is a gift to ourselves. I hope you can get back to your morning routine and restart the habit soon. ❤️

  2. I was introduced to The Artist’s Way through a writing community almost 10 years back. It’s motivating and I wrote a lot during those times and it brought out some of the best topics. I loved scribbling the morning pages, which ruled out all the junk in my mind and gave way to more creative work.

    Today when I get up, all I could think of is, getting the morning chores done, and starting work. I still wish I could wake up before the house to write down something, but looks like a task uphill.

    I’m wishing you get back on it when you are ready. All the best, Esha. Lots of love ❤️

  3. I hope you get back to morning writing Esha. It’s something I aspire to too. Mornings begin early at our home and the moment I wake up I get sucked into the chores of the day. Your post is a reminder to spend a few moments with myself before the work-day kicks off.

  4. Journaling is therapeutic. I love the Artist’s way and used to write my morning pages daily but I stopped doing them, don’t know why or when. Here’s to hoping we can get back to penning our morning thoughts soon.

  5. There is always a chance to know more about our friends like, through this post, I got a chance to know about your red diary from your childhood and how your morning pages journey began. Writing is therapeutic. I wish your peaceful dawns on your favourite seat and a cup of tea with your journal become a reality once again.

  6. I know how you feel – Morning Pages are so difficult to stay away from, when we don’t do them we feel a sense of loss! But I’m sure you’ve experienced that they manage to draw us back when the time is right. I hope that time comes soon for you.
    And I love the story of your red diary – what a gift, in more ways than one.

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