Sunday, July 26, 2009

the internet is my morning coffee

I admit it. When I get to work, after checking my inbox and making sure there's nothing pressing to do, I have a little morning ritual.

I read my three or four favorite blogs. I know, I know - I'm using work time to do this, and so it's probably not something I want to be admitting. But the way I figure it, pretty much everyone else does this, and productivity levels are just as high as they always were. Those of us who work at computers in cubicles (and for the moment at least, I am one) know that there are times when the boss isn't around and no-one knows exactly what you're looking at so intently on your screen. It could be an email from headquarters, but it could just as easily be that blog you've been following.

So each morning I check in with Rabi, Kal, Haya and Elise. Sometimes I also check in on Krista, Maile, Jess and Alison. And these little sessions of reading and viewing other people's artistic renditions of their everyday lives makes me feel inspired and ready to face the day with my own artistic eye renewed.

(Just in case you were wondering, my artistic eye is the left one. The right one is more scientific. Hehe...)

But seriously - I am a blogger, and this blog is a really important creative outlet in my life. I use it to practice my writing and my photography, and in doing so, I hone my "eye" - the way I see the world, and the way I then express what I see. So, reading other blogs is like looking at other paintings for a painter, or looking at other buildings for an architect or carpenter. Referencing with your peers. Feeding the creative self with good-quality food.

So, after reading those blogs and feeling inspired, I feel grounded. I feel like I've "gone home" for a bit - the mental equivalent of shutting the door, unplugging the phone, and homing, coming in to myself. It's important!

There's a part of it that is purely ritual, too. I realize this. For the first few months of work I would get a decaf latte every morning, and then sit down with that and peruse my favorite blogs. I'm off the lattes now, but I still feel a strong pull toward having a warm take-out cup in my hands as I click the mouse through these pages. These days I feed my friendly little "force of habit" with peppermint tea.

And then - having read about creativity, inspiration, finding time to create in the midst of the chaos of daily life, and the observations of my fellow female writers/artists - I happily get to those emails from headquarters. I've had my fix, and I'll be good - until tomorrow morning.

What's your daily Internet checklist? What's your morning ritual? Are they the same?

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