Writing Practices and Habits

always a black pen

For many years I've established and kept a writing practice that I thought I'd share with you.  I wake up quite early, by choice around 5:15 a.m.  That is my time where I sit quietly in my kitchen with a fresh cup of coffee in my favorite mug and I write before the day begins.  I am a morning person and have been one since I was a child.  My best thinking is before 2 p.m., after that I'm toast.

I keep a hard cover Moleskine journal without lines as my daily account of what has transpired the day before (since it's early!).  I write about what happened, the weather, what I was thinking or worrying about and maybe what I wished I was doing instead of wasting time.

At the end of each daily entry, I write a gratitude list and focus on positive thoughts.  I see good around me in minute detail.  Writing a gratitude list is a saving grace for me and has served me well in my overall attitude on life.

The red paperback moleskine is a writing prompt notebook.  I usually write about something that pops into my head, so it's like a free-write session.  I frequently write about my childhood, my mom or my gram.  Sometimes I will list what I've noticed in nature especially in the spring or fall.  My blog posts are inspired by what's within those pages.

The bird paperback notebook (unlined) is for classes or studies I participate in on the internet.  Also for any prompts that spill over from the red notebook.    The bird notebook is the only one where I will use colored markers and let doodling and artwork mix with words.

daily prayer is in my mornings too!

A writing practice would not be complete with some supportive supplies.  I have a pocket weekly calendar that is the silver blue book.  I tried using my iphone for appointments, but writing them down old school with pen and paper works better for me.

I also have a pocket moleskine grid notebook for keeping track of my daily goals and for writing down ideas or information.  I have pages dedicated to books I'd like to flip through when I'm in a bookstore, ideas for birthday presents, podcasts that need to be investigated.... you get the idea.  I will write down blog post ideas in here as well.

I carry these two little notebooks with me in my purse with a black pen and mini-markers, just in case I need to write something down.

I remember starting my writing practice at the beach in North Myrtle Beach around six years ago.  I sat there watching the sunrise and wondering "what do I write".  I wrote about a bird flying in the garage area, the sound of the sea and the scent of the salt breeze and feeling relaxed on vacation.  "What do I write" isn't the important question for me.

When do I write?

Who do I write for?  

I write in the mornings and I write for me.

When do you write?  What are your writing practices and habits?


  1. I LOVE reading about other people's writing practices. Mine is similar (I am now on my 28th hardbound moleskine notebook!) in both purpose and tools. I recently abandoned a set of colored markers (streamlining the process) in favor of one lovely fountain pen. Also YES to the paper calendar - I do you my phone for making future appointments, but once the week begins, I'm paper all the way!

    1. my son has a fountain pen and I've contemplated buying one....maybe!

  2. I love uniball pens and moleskins. And, I'm an early morning riser, too. =) I used to be much better at writing things down. There just never seems to be enough time to get everything done I'd like. Isn't that crazy? I don't work a full work schedule anymore, but seems to stay running to keep up more than ever. blessings ~ tanna
    ps I might have notebook envy for one of two of yours. ;)

  3. love reading about your writing practice, Karen!
    and I adore Moleskine :)

  4. This sounds beautiful, peaceful, and organized. I have one notebook for my to-do list, but it's often written in a rush, and I don't think I've ever taken time to just sit and write. Now that you've shared your process, I might try one of my own. It feels like I would gain a lot from the practice. Thank you!
    P.S. That silver blue notebook is quite beautiful!

  5. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.
    I am a morning person too but don't get up quite as early as you. : )
    You sound very organized and orderly.
    I have always kept a journal and jot things down in it different times through out the day.

  6. Wow! That is an amazing bit of writing. Good for you.

    About the only writing I do is in my blog posts. I have a whole bunch of things rolling around in my mind, but I get much to OCD about how the writing would look that it wouldn't be a relaxing exercise for me.

    I loved reading about YOUR writing though. Hope you have lots of happy writing mornings.

  7. How lovely; you are organized and amazing. I love your idea of writing what happened the day before and the other of what pops into your head. I would have to have lined paper. I am so anal about my writing. I like fat pens that give a wider line but pencil is my favorite. I may try that. I have a planner for what I need to do for the day but that totally went by the wasteside. Laziness and usually because I work out in the morning, afterwards, I'm a bit tired and need to sit and do something simple like read blogs or watch a podcast.

    1. Oh and thank you for your sweet and supportive, recent visit. It's hard to decide. If I could find a variegated that had that pale pink in it, that'd be cool; otherwise another option is plain white which I'm not jumping for joy at. So we'll see; that's the beauty of sock knitting. I have time to decide. I'll poke around though at minis.

  8. I am a list person, rather than notes. I record major events in scrapbook form creating pages using maps, postcards, tickets etc as well as the more traditional photograph. I do love a good notebook, I fell in love with your moleskin ones. Have a great weekend.

  9. I don't really have any set practices. I have just started writing posts weekly based on some prompts found on Pinterest. 52 writing posts so that should get me through a year if I don't miss one.
    Thank you for sharing this idea! :)

  10. Journal writing is something I have not done consistently. I tell myself I don't have time, but we all know that's just an excuse. As I step into the next phase of my life I intend to make it a daily practice, or at least as often as I can until it become habit. I love using fountain pens and a daily practice would be a fun use!

  11. I like to write daily also, but I'm a night owl so I tend to write in the evening. Admittedly, my 'evening ' tends to be 2 or 3 a.m. I also differ from you with my love of colored pens and cheap spiral notebooks. Never felt like my handwriting deserved a fancy journal. :)

  12. I love this prompt. I love that you tried the iphone calendar because I did too and I yearned for paper and pen. I bought myself some cool colored pencils anda pad this week. I thought, this is silly, but it made me so happy!! I love making lists. I love to look at my calendar from past years and appreciate my retirement so very much when I see my crazy schedule back then

  13. I also journal early in the morning (4:30 a.m.). Writing early in the morning helps my brain wake up. I love your idea of listing things you are grateful for. I am going to start doing that as well to begin each day in a positive way. Thank you for sharing these ideas! Have a great weekend!

  14. I too am an early riser and I love the idea of reflecting on yesterday. I get stuck because it is early and I don't have anything to write about - yet
    Thanks so much for this lovely post!

  15. You've inspired me ! Can you tell me about the quote that you showed from one of your journals, it begins "No Man is an Island...", who said that? Thanks.

  16. What a great post. I loved reading about your daily writing practice. I have a small orange notebook I write in as my everyday book. It holds lists, quotes, happy things, things I see, the day's events, really, anything that comes to mind. I carry it with me most places. You never know when you need to write something down important. Have a lovely weekend, Lisa

  17. I don't write nearly as much as I did at one time. You are such an encouragement to me in that area, my friend! It would definitely would help me feel (and be) more organized...and help me redeem the time that I've lost because of having so many things running around in my head. Thank you for your inspiration, dear Karen.

  18. I used to write all the time. Then somewhere along the way, I stopped. Not sure why as I am constantly inspired to write, especially when I see other's written words. I think I am going to grab myself a little notebook and get started. Thank you for this post, it is just what I needed. :)

  19. How organized you are! I too am a definite morning person, and I always have been. I also tried using my iPhone for scheduling, etc., and as much as I love my iPhone, it just did not work for this for me. I like to write down and cross off.

    I always have the very best intentions to write first thing in the morning, but I also run first thing every morning, and then when I get home, I always find something that "needs" to be done right then. You have inspired me to re-think this.

    Thank you! Have a wonderful week.


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