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Morning pages are a creative writing process every journalist needs

Writing is not only a honourable vocation, but it is also an immersive and enlightening way to help sort out your thoughts on a day-to-day basis.

Setting aside a few minutes every morning to write as soon as you wake up helps to begin the day with a clear mind and create a monumental sense of clarity. The concept of the ‘morning pages’ was originally introduced by Julia Cameron in ‘The Artist’s Way’ , a book written in 1995, as a method of encouraging creativity. The theory is that prior to going to bed, you will set out three blank lined pages and a pen by your bedside. Upon waking up, you start writing the morning pages. Beginning your day by writing will introduce interesting thoughts and can often lead to beautiful moments of intelligibility.

The idea is deeply related to understanding how the subconscious and dreams correlate with daily emotions and it tries to make a creative bridge between the two worlds. People often dream about things that don’t seem to make sense or aren’t realistic, such as flying through the air or falling without dying. Writing three pages each morning helps record last night’s dreams and possible reasons why a bad or good dream may have occurred related to deep-seated feelings from daily life.

It is also a mindful exercise that allows people to begin their day by being still and aware of themselves rather than jumping out of bed to tackle the day head-on. As someone who isn’t a morning person, easing into the day in a gentle way is essential, and writing with the materials ready on the bedside is the perfect solution. But, you don’t have to write about your dreams — you can write about anything you want. There are no deadlines or expectations (besides filling the three pages), and any type of writing is acceptable. Switch between stream of consciousness writing about life to a short poem or even a short story if your heart desires. As a writer, this kind of control over my creative intellect is emotionally healing and empowering.

Creating a private writing space that is out of the public eye is essential for any artist. It will keep your personal love of writing intact and also resolve any internal writing block dilemmas that arise. Try it for a week and you will find yourself more connected and aware of your own feelings. Without a doubt, you will be surprised by the feelings and ideas that arise — it may even change your life.

5 reasons New Year’s Eve sucks

New Year’s is an exciting, life-changing annual event, meant to remind us of the people we love in our lives and the potential future that awaits us all. Right? Wrong! It’s all a sham. The reality of New Year’s Eve is an evening full of failed resolutions. There will be a crappy party, which will inevitably result in an even crappier hangover. For all of those pessimists out there, read ahead. For all the optimists, read ahead and we will convert you to our ways.

Here are the five reasons why New Year’s eve sucks:

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1. The New Year resolutions

On the night of December 31, people try to forget the mistakes of the past year and press the restart button. They do this by creating a long list of unattainable goals that they will then spend the next month madly working on before giving up entirely. This is an attempt to make ourselves feel better about all the terrible things we’ve done the past year (ate a dozen donuts in one sitting, laughed at a friend’s obvious discomfort, skipped work just because we felt like sleeping in), and honestly, it isn’t going to work.

Goals such as trying to lose 50 pounds in record time; promising to donate all of your coffee money to charity; or attempting to keep the deep recesses of the closet sparkly clean is not going to happen—and it will only make you miserable. Toss the resolutions out the door ladies and gents, and with it that overwrought expectations of your desired perfection. We are great how we are today, enjoy the present and be mindful of how your actual attributes can help you plan for a great future. And eat that chocolate cake! It won’t kill you.

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2. The inability for any New Year plans to actually work out

Every year, people make amazing plans to attend some friend’s party at the uppermost northern tip of the city, with the thought that they will magically make it down to the innermost downtown core for the countdown, all while enjoying the company of several wonderful friends they see once a year. What actually ends up happening is one of the parties gets canceled and friends are late. The one commonality is that really drunk friend (or work colleague) spills red wine on our beautiful new dresses because they cannot hold their liquor.  The epic plans made each and every year are often too over-the-top and are ridden with expectations of life-changing proportions. Instead, this year, we suggest attending ONE party with ONE group of friends. Sadly, the one person who gets too drunk and spills their drink is inevitable no matter the plans made—in fact, we hope it is you!

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3. The glaring reflection of your relationship status 

The most stressful aspect of New Year’s eve for singles worldwide is the midnight kiss. The thought of everyone kissing their significant others around you — you are left with just a bottle of wine and a face full of tears. It is a nightmare. Seriously, we’ve all dreamt about it. The entire New Year’s eve affair is a concoction made by coupledom to judge singles and leaves many choking down Chinese take-out crying at home when the ball drops.

The good news is that we can fight back! When the countdown arrives, here are a few suggestions to wreak a little midnight havoc. Options include running around topless hollering “down with the patriarchy!” Another choice is to quickly sneak up on your coupling friends and give them a look of irresistible pity so you get two lovely cheek kisses. My third and favorite option is to bring another single along with you and toast to your beautiful independence. This also gives you a pal to snicker with when all of the couples start to bicker after New Year’s when too many drinks have been consumed.

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4. The commute

On New Year’s, everyone is out and about, trying to run from here to there. They will also be very, very drunk. Enough said. Hiring a taxi or an Uber will be out of the question (the wait can be up to two hours or longer!). Despite some transit systems offering free service that night, the commute will still suck. Busses and streetcars will be packed with screaming people drinking out of paper bags. You either have to embrace it with your own paper bag, or just stay home with Chinese take-out. Better yet, stay at ONE party like a normal person, and ask that friend to stay the night.

 

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5. The wardrobe

The glitz of the New Year’s wardrobe is blinding. Short expensive dresses in the middle of winter that sparkle like a disco ball, paired with nine-inch heals to match. These are a hazard ladies! On the other hand, the glitz is a great road reflector and does help to protect against vehicles hitting you. Besides enhanced highway safety, the sparkles and short dresses have got to go. It’s not worth it to purchase an expensive cocktail dress you’ll only wear once, only to have some drunk stranger spill their cheap alcohol all over it. We would opt for a fun, casual outfit that we can move and groove in. Also something a bit warmer than a skimpy outfit — we live in Canada, please dress like it.

 

Overall, I hope you  all take this advice seriously. New Year’s eve can be a great night. It really can. We are not completely pessimistic about the affair. If you remove the intense expectations, over-the-top plans, hope for an imaginary romance, and the glitzy dresses, it will be wonderful evening you will never remember. Because you will be drunk — that part we approve of. To quote the characters of Friends: “Cheers to a Lousy Christmas and A Crappy New Year!”

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