For the last month I've been getting up early before the rest of the house wakes to write a poem each day as part of the Dirty Thirty challenge run by Abdulraman Hamoud on Facebook.
I light one of these beeswax candles and then write in this gorgeous leather journal. I made both the candles and the journal and it feels really special to sit down and use both of them. Having beautiful, handmade tools lifts my spirits. And there's a lovely sense of pride and satisfaction when you can use something you have made yourself.
It's become something of a peaceful ritual with which to start the day. It may not be the twenty pages of random writing as suggested by Julia Cameron in her book The Artist's Way but it is writing when my brain is still halfway between awake and asleep. It's been interesting to see what I can come up with in response to the prompts. When I've left writing a response until later in the day it has been much harder. My brain feels sluggish and there are too many distractions to concentrate fully on writing.
Having carved out this quiet time for myself sets me up to take on the rest of the day and whatever it may throw at me. When everything goes pear-shaped as it all too often does, I have the joy of knowing I have already done something just for me. It's a priceless gift.