Over the last week I’ve come to the conclusion that one of the reasons for my recent crabbiness (apart from lack of sleep and living with teenage daughters) is my lack of writing. I’ve been revising (and revising and …) and I’ve been reading and commenting on other people’s writing but I haven’t actually been writing. Once upon a time I used to get up at 6 o’clock in the morning, meditate and write what Julia Cameron calls morning pages. Three pages of whatever spills itself onto the page. It’s a great way of decluttering your mind and clearing space for fresh ideas to germinate and blossom. It’s also a great way for you to “talk’ through anything that’s worrying you or causing you concern, a way of connecting with yourself.  And as a by-product you might just come up with some wonderful new writing that can be revised and transformed into something completely readable.

The problem of course is that it’s winter and it’s cold in the morning and it’s so much easier to turn off that alarm, snuggle back under the doona and drift back off to sleep. My solution is to start small. Set the alarm for just 15 minutes before you would normally drag yourself out of bed and write fast. Morning pages don’t require any planning or thought. They should in fact be first thoughts – unrefined and unhindered. Begin by writing one to one and a half pages. Once you’ve established this routine, set the alarm another ten or fifteen minutes earlier and write that extra page. Keep going until you’ve managed to set it a full half hour earlier which should be just enough time to write those three pages you’re aiming for. And remember to reward yourself for your efforts – stay under that doona on  Sundays.

To find out more about morning pages read Julia Cameron’s classic The Artist’s Way.

And check out her website at    www.theartistsway.com for great ideas on creativity.