Years ago I started keeping a journal when my sister brought home a black Composition booklet for a high school assignment. Seeing the booklet and hearing the assignment to write every day made me want to join in. After her class ended, she dropped the practice, but I continued, filling a dozen Composition booklets until my then boyfriend read an entry when we were going through a rough patch. That breach of privacy ended my journaling, although not the relationship.
For several years I wrote stories instead. But with a demanding career and moving cross-country several times, my writing practice was more stop-start than a consistent habit. I produced many works-in-progress, but very few completed and polished short stories or essays.
Then menopause hit me like a two-by-four to the head. I found myself with the hormones of a teenager in a fifty-year old body. The desires, the frustrations, and the changes in my body all needed somewhere to go. Exercise, diet, and supplements weren’t enough. So I picked up another Composition booklet and began pouring out my anxieties onto a familiar page.
I’d found my safe place once again and journaling led to my first novel, and then a second.
Yet even with those accomplishments, I felt stifled, often unable to push through the terrible times when I just couldn’t write.
In search of help, I picked up a copy of The Artist’s Way. One of the very first steps to overcoming writer’s block was to write three pages every morning.
So I began a daily writing practice—three pages every morning, first thing, no matter what. Every day I fill the pages before the early dentist appointment, before the walk in the neighborhood, before checking email or unloading the dishwasher.
It keeps me in the flow when between projects or struggling with a story. It has become my mantra because those three pages are physical proof that I am a writer.
Rose Gonsoulin has two novels and several shorts stories on Amazon. Connect with her on Goodreads where she keeps her virtual library up-to-date.
If you want to learn tried and true methods to get control of your health and happiness, please download the free eBook titled Avoiding the 24/7 Motherhood Struggle Through Journaling.