Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Tuesday Slice: Morning pages and my 2021 OLW


Inspired by a friend who is a new Slicer but a practiced writer, I have begun writing morning pages. I can't even find my unread copy of Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way, but I know that morning pages are one of the recommended practices.  I ordered a dot grid notebook from Erin Condren, the one where you could put your "one word" on the cover and have it repeated over and over in the middle center, and then promptly covered that up with a cute winter cover. Maybe that's a Freudian slip, my avoidance of self-accountability and reflection--my focus of the year.

I found the perfect poster for my OLW on Canva, tweaked it a bit for my tastes, and printed it out to guide me while I set my goals and intentions for 2021.  I am allllll about the planning, but rarely stop to reflect and gauge results.
I have a hard time being accountable to myself.  And when I was staring at my goals pages in a workbook I use for such, I realized that I'd been writing the same goals for years...without results.  I was missing concrete action plans, the kind of SMART goals I used to write for my students' IEPs (not that I really miss doing that--I miss the students, but not the IEP paperwork).  I have been using my planners as to-do lists with just a peek now and then at my goals for maybe the first two months of the year.  Then December comes round with a look back...and no results to speak of.

I have talked about this before, I know.  Maybe even written a Slice about it.  I have read books about it, had support readily available, and still not followed through.  Maybe writing about it in morning pages will push me forward, if I take off the cutesy cover and let that one little word imprint itself on my mind.


  1. Chris, I like the idea of having a running list of my one word to clarify my walk through 2021. Results is a great word in light of your backstory. I always enjoy reading how a writer comes across their one word. I tend to agree with you that your winter cover is providing a cozy corner in your life. Perhaps, that feeling of comfortability will spur you on to bring results to your self-care routine. Happy onewording throughout 2021.

  2. I'm participating in a group doing Artist's Way this year, and I started Morning Pages on January 1st. I'm just using an old notebook abandoned by a student at the end of one of the years...but I like the idea of a special notebook with your OLW on the cover! Happy New Year!

  3. Thank you for inspiring me to research more about morning pages and the artists way. I am intrigued!

  4. A focus on results--with clarity around what results will look like--is powerful (and a bit scary). I think about this a lot as a teacher and coach. We're all working so hard! It is motivating to see evidence of growth/progress--results! Choosing results as your OLW is brave.

  5. A powerful word, a testimony to your productive spirit, and those notebooks are gorgeous! I have The Artist's Way and it's a gift to any writer, any person desiring to be more creative, and you're right about the morning pages. What an epiphany, that you've been setting the same goals but not getting results, leading you to make shifts in focus. Einstein has a quote (I am sure you know it) that I will paraphrase here - to stay sane, to get different results, do things differently. I look at your OLW graphic and see flowers growing. I can't wait to see what stems and flourishes from your morning pages ...