Morning Pages

Stuck. My words, my inspiration, my ideas are stagnant, as they always seem to be when I am pregnant. Again and again, I sit down to write, and again and again, the words fail to appear. Even in Valley’s writing class, the magic I usually find there has left me, and what emerges on paper is just the detritus of my worry-laden brain. But I have started to write morning pages. Three pages, longhand, each morning, first thing. And I love them. I love them for the low expectations I have of them, I love them for not needing to be magic to fulfill their purpose, to drain the sludge from my brain. And as I have been faithfully writing my morning pages, I’ve found my brain sludge has slowed to a trickle. “Look at me, “ I say, glancing around, almost an empty vessel waiting to be filled with something creative. But nothing has shown up yet. 

I think about the bird feeder stand we set up outside the dining room window. I think about the goldfinches and sparrows and mourning doves and brown-headed cowbirds. I think about my children’s delight at all of the birds, and at the squirrel eating bird seed off the window sill, ignoring the cat, trembling with disbelief and rage, swatting at him through the glass. 

It seems like such a simple thing, this bird feeder stand, and yet such a pleasure for all of us. So many birds have come to us. Birds who have been there all along, but we didn’t see them. Not like we do now that we feed them. And we don’t forget to fill the feeders when they are right there in front of us. When we have become addicted to their guests. 

And maybe nothing creative has poured in to fill the emptying space in my brain, not yet, but I’m not sorry to have put my writing right in front of me, remembering to fill the empty pages. Because it took a while for the birds to arrive, but one by one they did, my five-year-old exclaiming, “Another bird! Gosh, the good news is really spreading!” And so I will wait, and hope the space in my brain and in my life I am holding for writing will be discovered before too long, and the thoughts and ideas will begin to appear, one by one, filling my mind and my pages, crowding out the cobwebs of worries that usually live there. 

And some of them will be cowbirds, appearing beautiful, but laying their eggs in the nests of songbirds, and some of them will be bright goldfinches, whose beauty is overpowering, and some, like the mourning doves, will appear plain at first glance, but when I look a little closer, I will see their perfect, sleek feathers, and the stunning blue of their eyelids, and I will be glad for all of them.


Emily lives in a house full of children and animals, and steals her writing moments in the early hours of the morning and in Valley's addictive, magical classes. Someday, she may blog again at