Evening Pages, anyone? #SOL19

I have finally found my ideal way to end the day — Evening Pages. Many of you are probably familiar with Morning Pages, a morning writing routine that Julia Cameron first introduced in her book, The Artist’s Way. In it she writes about writing “three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning.” These pages aren’t meant to be perfect, well-thought out, or elegant. To see Cameron speak briefly about them, you may watch here. I have read elsewhere that some writers don’t focus so much on the number of pages, but on the amount of time that they write — say 20-30 minutes each morning. Either is a wonderful way to start the day, an opportunity to shake the cobwebs out of the mind, and perhaps launch a greater writing project.

My problem is that Monday through Friday, I just don’t have any morning writing time. I rise at 5:10, walk out the door at 6:10, arrive at school at 6:40, and then it’s off to the races with photocopying, answering emails, setting up my Kindergarten classroom, meeting with colleagues, and all the other busy work that happens before my students arrive at 8:00. You know the drill.

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But living a writerly life is important to me. I have found that writing at the other end of the day works just as well for me, and so I give you…Evening Pages! It’s now officially a thing! Writing in the late afternoon or evening is one the happiest times of my day. I open up my notebook and write. It might end up being five words or five pages. It could last five minutes or 45 minutes. Who knows. Each day is different. But I am writing, and that’s all that matters. Perhaps Evening Pages would work for you. What time of day do you do your free writing? Do you have a favorite routine? I’d love to hear about it in a comment. Happy writing!

P.S. Many thanks to Teach Write’s Jennifer Laffin who during one of our Wednesday evening online writing sessions said, “You should write a Slice about that!”

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Many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here each Tuesday and every day in March. Won’t you join us?

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16 thoughts on “Evening Pages, anyone? #SOL19

  1. I am with you. Writing in the evening makes much more sense. Sleeping a bit more in the morning is healthier than writing at wee hours. I am not sure that the time of a day is the most important factor, I think it is the fact that one writes. Daily.

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  2. I too write in the evening. During the March Madness I usually draft at night and then reread in the morning if I can before posting. I love the idea of a name for evening writing! Thanks

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  3. Unlike my #TeachWrite friends (yes, I’m looking at you Jennifer and Michelle), I am NOT a morning person. I much prefer to sleep. I agree with Terje’s comment – it matters that we write daily, not the time of day.

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  4. I love mornings, but writing in the morning is so hard for me. I have a routine of coffee, checking email, and then taking a walk with Charlie, my dog. I could make time in that routine and believe me, I’ve tried, but I’m just not good at writing in the morning. I love this idea…Evening Pages! Of course! Like slap on the head, duh! Thanks!

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  5. I’m fried at night. I do much better writing in the mornings. Though I like sleeping in (i.e., not waking up at 5 a.m.) if I don’t have to. (I used to rise at 5 a.m. — an hour before my husband woke up and I needed to get moving to get to school — before I had kids. Now not so much.)

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  6. You are encouraging me to write regularly and daily. March challenge always gets me excited about adding that to my routine. This year I’d like to continue on. Thanks for the idea to try at night!

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  7. Enjoyed reading your post. “Evening Pages” as an alternative to “Morning Pages” is a great idea. I have always had to make the time to write according to my schedule for the day which changes drastically based on travels. I share a PD event that I called “Morning Pages” … one of my favorite writing workshops.

    Liked by 1 person

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