I'm told that there's not a wrong way to do morning pages. Something I find interesting about my own approach is that I really tend to delve into explaining an idea rather than getting caught up in day-to-day minutia. This isn't really a "journal" at all. Left to my own devices, I am a critical theorist and a cultural critic.

Don't get me wrong: I'm also a storyteller, but here in the still, small hours of the morning, I am far more likely to ask "Why?" over and over again until synthesized and systematized knowledge falls out. I am far more comfortable with the notion that my words and thoughts could be my true legacy rather than my actions. My actions are largely driven by randomness, convenience, the desires of others, and attempts to gain future leverage. They certainly tell a story or paint a picture of me. My words and thoughts, though, they represent my highest self. I have spent so much of my life in contemplation. When you read my words, you're taking in the part of my self that has benefitted from the most effort. Even though these morning pages are written in one shot with no direct forethought, they are nonetheless the indirect progeny of thousands of hours of finely honed thoughts.

When I go back and read accounts of my daily life from the past, I feel sadness. When I read essays, polemics, poems, and prophecies, I am uplifted. My actions are often painful or even shameful. My thoughts, however, are my honored ancestors.