Writing

Morning routine: test drive

This week I’ve tested a new routine. I don’t work well with routines, it tires me. It seems like I look at routines as a dare to break. The reason why I haven’t published more than I have probably lies here. The last couple of months I’ve taken a course with Mel Robbins, where one of the main topics was to change our morning routine in order to be more productive and more focused on where we want to go with our lives. I have successfully made changes in my morning routine, not big ones but noticeable ones. The change involves no phone in the bedroom, no hitting the snooze button, no checking emails or social media before I have set my own intentions for the day. These small changes have made it easier for me to get a good start every day.

So, I decided to up my game a little. When your goal is to write books, then you have to do the writing. I often felt other’s voices and opinions interfered with mine, that I wrote things that didn’t come from me, but more what other’s expected me to write about. I’ve also often felt it was problematic to connect with my own thoughts. Having all these wonderful ideas that I had without being able to figure out where I would I go further with writing them out, was, to say the least, frustrating. Especially with this book, the Corporate Horse Sense book. For some reason, I’ve raised the bar higher and higher and put other’s expectations for the book into my writing. Not their actual expectations, but what I thought other’s might expect. It was time to find back to my voice, to reconnect with my own thoughts. Thus, I added one new thing to my morning routine; 15 minutes free writing. Before I checked in with the rest of the world, even before breakfast, I set my timer on 15 minutes and started to write what came to mind.

My only “rule” was to keep it connected with the essence of Corporate Horse Sense. The first day it felt a bit strange – what to write, how to write? I jotted down everything that came to mind, and what I realised afterwards was that there were so many things I hadn’t even considered for this book, that made a brilliant connection and a possibly better direction. The second day I was more determined and started out with a keyword, and I must say, that released a lot. When the 15 minutes had passed, I didn’t have time to stop, so I took another 15 minutes. Yes, I broke the routine I was trying to implement already the second day. I wanted to keep it to 15 minutes because it’s not an overwhelming amount of time when the word flow is more farfetched and it’s a perfect time for warming up before you start stretching and doing the actual work. The third day I felt complete blank when I set on the timer, so I just asked myself a question “What have I learned from the horses?” And the answer I gave myself came out of the blue. I found myself writing about a personal experience, analysing how I had reacted and how -if I had reacted as a horse- the entire situation could have changed. This wasn’t only interesting regarding the book, but also to me personally. I learned something about myself and how I could change a pattern of reacting to situations that frightened me. On the fourth day, it was more difficult to get anything on paper, I didn’t start out with a thought, keyword or a question, and I believe I was a tad unfocused. Still, I got something written, which was the main purpose. The fifth day, life came in the way. That happens. The routine hadn’t become a routine yet, so it was easy for me to postpone the free writing when time ran out on me. What I noticed was that I felt bad for not giving myself the time to write and instead of having a good feeling about the start of the day, I felt I had missed out of something.

After only five days of testing this, I got a new insight:

  • Firstly, by writing 15 minutes every morning before doing anything else, I have, by the time I’m ready to meet the world, already written approximately 300 words (handwriting – haven’t tested on the computer yet). This gives me an upper hand on my own progress. If I don’t manage to write anymore that day, I have at least written almost one page (A4).
  • Secondly, what I produce so early in the morning is so raw, it comes directly from my heart, I haven’t yet let the guards down to protect me from the world, the impulses from others haven’t reached me yet and the inner critic hasn’t awoken. It is my thoughts, and my thoughts only. They are raw, unfiltered and pure.
  • Thirdly, it gives me new directions to the book project I might never have considered, which will lift the entire project because it goes deeper, I go deeper.

This is a morning routine I  absolutely will continue. Not only will I continue free writing every morning, I will prioritise it because it already has shown to be powerful and valuable for my writing.

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