Random Writing Rants

Why not evening pages?


I started keeping a journal around the age of 12. I used to lay in bed at night and write in my journal almost every evening before I went to bed. I filled notebook, after notebook, after notebook. I kept up with this practice for almost 10 years until my (now ex-) husband decided to read my journal, wasn’t happy with something I wrote, and then proceeded to burn my journal and forbid me from writing anything anymore. Needless to say, it was not a happy marriage.

I am a writer. It’s what I do, and it’s who I am. So, for 10 long, miserable years, I was not allowed to be me. Luckily, I eventually escaped the marriage. Near the end, I decided to start writing again. I began to keep a secret journal, writing only when I could sneak it in, moving it from one hiding place to the next, knowing I’d catch hell if he found it. But I was tired of living a lie. I was tired of not being allowed to be me.

Anyway, I went back to school again, this time to pursue a masters of English with a concentration in writing. At school, everyone talks about writing their morning pages. Teachers, students, authors of our text books, all recommend getting up first thing in the morning and writing for at least 10 minutes before doing anything else. I don’t know how they do it.

I have tried and tried to write morning pages, I really have. But, I have a 5-year-old in the house, and he pretty much decides what time I get up in the morning. If I plan on getting up ten minutes early to write, he gets up 15 minutes early to make sure I’m too busy taking care of him. There’s just too much to do in the morning, and by the time I can sit down to write for 10 minutes, I’ve lost whatever it was I was thinking about when I woke up. I’ve forgotten whatever it was I was supposed to write down in my morning pages.

Last night I was thinking of all those notebooks I’d filled up when I was younger, and how I always wrote at bedtime. So I thought, “Why not write evening pages instead of morning pages?”

I mean, who says I can’t be just as productive at bedtime as all those other writers are first thing in the morning? I have a stack of notebooks that proves I can. As long as I’m writing every day, who cares if it’s in the morning hours or the evening? Will the readers of my All-American novel really care what time of day I wrote the words? I don’t think so.



4 thoughts on “Why not evening pages?”

  1. Hi Mandy Excellent post and a very amusing read! I sometimes still write sneakily – non writers just don’t seem to understand our passion. Keep up the great work and thanks for including my link in yours.
    Sandra 🙂

  2. As I read your post I was feeling horrible for you. I was actually angry that somebody could “steal” writing away from you. In my mind I was rooting for you to come back in some way. I was so relieved and excited to see the outcome.
    Writers are writers because that’s what they do…write. I don’t believe it matters what bloody time of the day YOU choose to be a writer. Heck, if Stephen King only ever wrote in the morning…it would take him 30 years to write his mammoth manuscripts. I enjoyed your post. I look forward to reading more. I am an avid journal writer. I used to journal as a teenager and then I put it away for…way longer than 10 years. I guess I decided that I was too cool to journal and that it was geeky! I started writing in a journal 20 years later. I’m loving it. Although, now I find it is hard to balance blog writing with journal writing, so my blog sometimes serves both purposes. Cheers!

  3. I asked the same question into google and got your blog post. Then I read the first part of your blog post and the exact same thing happened to me – twice. First my ex-h read my diaries and made comments in the column of my diary pages as well as disparaging comments – so i threw all my diaries away. I left him and began keeping a diary on my computer and my subsequent bf decided to read everything as well. He didn’t leave any comments but then i would notice in our conversations that he would ask weird questions… I left him too (lol). In any case, I did not write any journals for a long time either.
    I wonder what is the difference (psychologically or creatively) between writing morning or evening pages. I have started doing morning pages because i wake up very early but with freelance and writing before going to my regular day job sometimes I don’t have the time to fit everything in.


    1. Why do smart ladies like us always end up with dumb jerks like that?

      My latest thing is to just keep a Word doc open on my computer and write everything there. I start off by freewriting in the morning, and then as ideas pop up for one project or another, I just keep writing right there. Then I copy those segments from that doc and paste them where they need to be.

      This helps me keep track of my daily word count as well, and I have learned that 2,000 words a day really isn’t that hard at all. I’m thinking of upping my daily word count goal now to push myself to go a little farther everyday. It seems like once I hit my 2,000 words for the day, I let it all fall apart. I know I can do better, but I get lazy as soon as I reach my goal!

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