Every morning, the first thing I do when I wake up is write three pages, longhand- a leftover from the many times I've tried and failed to get through Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way. In her marvellous twelve-week course, she prescribes two regular commitments; these morning pages, and an 'artist date', where you set aside a couple of hours just to hang out with yourself, doing whatever you like best. I try to maintain both habits, and mostly, I manage it.
The only snag was the reams and reams of paper I was getting through, the notebooks I was filling with phrases, sentences, full chunks that I liked, but never got to be in a poem. For Cameron, these pages aren't free-writing- they're barely even writing. They're just a way of spending time with yourself, of writing yourself into yourself, of staying nourished and remembering that you have a whole well of experience to draw from. But, for me, the pages wanted to be free, even when they didn't make sense, even when they were just a collection of words, even when they were gross and disturbing.
So, now, I share something from my morning pages everyday on Twitter, a chunk of nothing that fell out of my pen by accident, secretly hoping that they might chime with someone else.