Nikolas,

Every day at 6 in the morning, my alarm goes off and before I head out of my bedroom, I do my “morning pages” This is a writing discipline that I learned from creative facilitator Ife Piankhi a few years back. I like morning pages because I basically have to write; write anything that comes to mind. However, it is surprising that my morning pages have given birth to some of the stories I later come to develop. There are two challenges however with my morning routine, first, because I am on the move most times, I sometimes find it impossible to write because I cannot locate my notebook or because I worked late in the night and I have to wake up really late. The other coincidence about my morning pages work is that it tends to take on a certain pattern and theme. For some reason, sunrise has a big impact on me and most of the emotions I can master in the morning are related to nature. It is quite unlikely that I will wake up one morning and pen a political piece.

As I have said before, I guess I am not so centre right disciplined as writer and my writing routine varies with environment, season or event. There are weeks and months when I have generated a lot of work and then there are those weeks and months when my brain is literally blank. I am literally always struggling with writers’ block. However, with my professional work of running and organizing writing classes and workshops in East Africa with Kahini and Writing Our World, I have been able to put myself in an environment which enables me to develop new content. I met various writers and often in these classes, I do a lot of in depth writing.

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Coffee, juice or water are the best companions to my writing table or desk. I have a special brand of coffee that I buy from Rwanda and since last year, my life has been rotating around it. The mere smell of the coffee in a room gives me a good feeling and I feel relaxed, able to think and have my creative energies hyped. With such an environment, I could write for an hour. That is realistically the biggest time I can spend writing, unsupervised. I sometimes listen to music when I am writing but most times, I prefer a quiet calm environment to think and concentrate. Writing in nature id by far the most ideal for me.

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So tell me Nikolas, how is your writing discipline?