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Morning pages are a creative writing process every journalist needs

Writing is not only a honourable vocation, but it is also an immersive and enlightening way to help sort out your thoughts on a day-to-day basis.

Setting aside a few minutes every morning to write as soon as you wake up helps to begin the day with a clear mind and create a monumental sense of clarity. The concept of the ‘morning pages’ was originally introduced by Julia Cameron in ‘The Artist’s Way’ , a book written in 1995, as a method of encouraging creativity. The theory is that prior to going to bed, you will set out three blank lined pages and a pen by your bedside. Upon waking up, you start writing the morning pages. Beginning your day by writing will introduce interesting thoughts and can often lead to beautiful moments of intelligibility.

The idea is deeply related to understanding how the subconscious and dreams correlate with daily emotions and it tries to make a creative bridge between the two worlds. People often dream about things that don’t seem to make sense or aren’t realistic, such as flying through the air or falling without dying. Writing three pages each morning helps record last night’s dreams and possible reasons why a bad or good dream may have occurred related to deep-seated feelings from daily life.

It is also a mindful exercise that allows people to begin their day by being still and aware of themselves rather than jumping out of bed to tackle the day head-on. As someone who isn’t a morning person, easing into the day in a gentle way is essential, and writing with the materials ready on the bedside is the perfect solution. But, you don’t have to write about your dreams — you can write about anything you want. There are no deadlines or expectations (besides filling the three pages), and any type of writing is acceptable. Switch between stream of consciousness writing about life to a short poem or even a short story if your heart desires. As a writer, this kind of control over my creative intellect is emotionally healing and empowering.

Creating a private writing space that is out of the public eye is essential for any artist. It will keep your personal love of writing intact and also resolve any internal writing block dilemmas that arise. Try it for a week and you will find yourself more connected and aware of your own feelings. Without a doubt, you will be surprised by the feelings and ideas that arise — it may even change your life.

How to make your dorm your own

Moving away from home for the first time is an exciting and scary adventure. On one hand, you finally have independence from your parents, but then you have to make sure you can actually take care of yourself. Creating a fun and organized dorm room is the way to make that happen.

The first step when moving into a dorm room is to assess the size of the room and figure out what fits in the small space. I had my own room in residence and it came with a twin bed, dresser, and desk. It was literally the size of a closet (honestly, I was just glad I had my own room). Here are a few tips from a university veteran.

Photo by Marco Derksen
Photo by Marco Derksen
  1. Good vibes

By creating a room with colourful and dynamic art, it makes an open and enjoyable space that classmates and friends can also enjoy. When I moved into residence, I was a poor student and had to be creative with my decorating skills. I purchased an art magazine called Juxtapose and hung all of the art on my door and walls, creating a collage. I still use some of these art pieces today. Most campuses in Ontario have poster sales if you are looking for something specific. If you do have to share a room, try using a nice fabric or sheet to separate the space and make it more private. You can also buy a funky bedspread and pillows to make the space even more dynamic.

  1. Ways to leave a note

Another decorating trick is to create a message board. I used a roll of blank white paper on a wall to create a writing area for people to sign and leave messages after they stop by. I also used it to write poems and do drawings when I had a sudden burst of inspiration. These papers are now a memento of my first few years at university.  You can also hang a whiteboard or chalkboard if you prefer. Having a message area is also a fun way for your friends to leave notes at your dorm if you aren’t there, and also so floor mates can inform you of parties and get-togethers.

2011-Master-Closet-Organizer-014

  1. Closet organizers

A closet organizer is a must in a tiny room. These hanging units take up virtually no space and help to keep clothes and personal items organized and off the ground. Be sure to keep the area organized though as the compartments can get quite messy if you pile on extra items or random knick knacks. I personally used my closet organizer for undergarments because these items are small and get easily lost if not in a contained area. These organizers come in a variety of styles and sizes, and can be quite stylish.

 

  1. A wall calendar

University can be chaotic and busy, and having a place in front of your desk with your tests and activities written down is a good way to remember your schedule. I had a large calendar and could record everything from a friend’s kegger to the midterm the next day (hopefully not). Having deadlines visible on a daily basis helped me remember what needed to be done and alleviated stress.

  1. Under the bed storage

Dorm rooms have limited space, so make sure to utilize the space under your bed. Get some short and wide boxes for seasonal clothing or use it to store smaller things like extra toothpaste, Tylenol, and socks. This is also a great spot to store secret snacks when you get the munchies.

Decorating gives character to a room, making it friendly and inviting. It will also make it feel more personal if you feel homesick. Being organized will help you succeed at the “school” part of living in residence (smaller priority sometimes), while the more personal touches will make the tiny room seem like home.

How would you decorate and organize your dorm room? Let Women’s Post know in the comments below.