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Early bird catches the word – 5 ways to start your day by writing

Man in pyjamas writing on bed
Written by M. Amelia Eikli

Have you ever tried to wrestle on your shoes with one hand, applied mascara with the other, while chewing on your toothbrush? Oh… me neither! Great morning habits make for good days, and starting your day with writing is a good way to get those creative gears spinning and clearing your mind. Here are three techniques for you to try.

1. Morning Pages

This is one of author and journalist Julia Camron’s recommended tools. Start the day with a pen and 3 blank pages, then write freely and without rules until you have filled those 3 pages. On her webpage, Camron writes: “Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand,” but she also specifies that “there’s no wrong way to do Morning Pages” Just find a technique that works for you. Write about anything your mind wants to write about, the weather, fairies, what you want to have for breakfast or how you can’t think of anything to write about.

2. The morning dump

Similar to the Morning Pages, copy-writing guru Hannah Mang sings the praises of doing a morning dump. Love or hate the scatological title, but the principle is sound: empty your brain of noise and clutter by picking up your journal and pen first thing in the morning. On her webpage, Mang says such a morning dump will make you a better writer by giving you practice and by clearing your mind. She does not recommend a specific page-number or time frame, but tells you to try with no rules, “shoulds” or pressure.

3. The Miracle Morning

Hal Elrod’s morning-route Miracle Morning includes several steps called SAVERS, and the S stands for Scribing. He recommends 10 minutes, but says that with training, you can get an effective Miracle Morning done with as little as 1 minute per activity. More than free-writing, Scribing can also be something as simple as planning your day, filling out your journal or to-do list, or writing about what you did the day before. Either way: it clears your mind, increases your word-count and helps you create a good writing habit.

4. Keep a gratefulness journal

Did you know that having an active gratefulness practice can help you be happier, more productive and even sleep better? Our friends over at Evegrat.com recommend keeping a gratefulness journal. Even if you only write down 3 things you are grateful for every day and why you are grateful for them, a gratefulness journal lets you focus on the good things – first thing in the morning. Writing, like all other arts, require practice, and why not practice your art while giving your mental health a boost?

5. Dive straight into your own production

Any number of studies suggest that the morning is the very best time for your creative juices. Get up half an hour before you have to, and write until your normal alarm, or take 15 minutes to yourself after breakfast. Many famous writers, like Stephen King and Maya Angelou, have sworn to writing in the early hours of the day. And if you want to take it further, do like Haruki Murakami and start your day at 4 am with 5-6 hours of writing.

Photo: iStock.com/gpointstudio

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