One of the best pieces of advice I learned at The Kenyon Review Writers Workshop is also one of the simplest. Ron Carlson, my workshop leader talking about the necessity of writing as soon as you get up. He told us that it didn't need to be a lot, twenty minutes or so, but kept stressing that the very first thing you should do in the morning is write.
He went on to explain his way of thinking by drawing in references to e-mails, Facebook, blogs, newspapers and google searches that one does in the morning. What do all of these things have in common? They are all OTHER people's thoughts. We are opening ourselves up to everyone else's views, ideas, successes, failures and way of thinking before we let ours come out. He stressed the importance of letting our ideas out through our writing before we begin to let the day creep in.
I couldn't agree more with him. I think I've mentioned that I use the night time (before I go to bed) to do a lot of my plotting and problem solving in my writing. I look forward to this time when I can think throw things in my book when I'm the most relaxed. I find often new ideas sneak in during this time, and I can then write them down in the morning. However, I do what Ron Carlson told us not to do. I get onto the Internet. I start looking at other's thoughts, and I lose my own.
It's a simple change...write for twenty minutes before you check your e-mail (and everything else that connects you to the world).
I started my day with this advice, writing for a bit and then checking e-mail, Facebook, going for my hour walk and then opening myself up to blogs and blogging.
It did allow me to keep my mind uncluttered. It stopped me from getting sucked into everyone else's world, before my own, and I don't have an excuse for not writing because I've already done it.
What do you think? Do you think you could make this change? I challenge you to try it...write twenty minutes every morning before going onto the Internet. I think you're going to like the new start to your day!