Most will tell you that the beauty of morning pages is that they're private, you can write whatever you want, regardless of how personal, stupid, inane, and no one need ever see it. They can be used to work through issues, to clear the mind ready for the day ahead, but can then be forgotten, discarded.

To me they are all this and so much more: they are a playground, a staging post, a seething cauldron from which ideas can be birthed, ideas that can and should (in my opinion) be shared. Such a thought came to me during a session last week:

While I'm excited about starting the muse-letter I'm also nervous as hell, anxious about it in a way I don't understand; I have moments of panic that I'm starting something I won't be able to continue, that I won't be able to do justice. I don't want to fail but if I don't try I'll never know if I can succeed, I'll never get anywhere, with this... with anything.

So I have to, I need to push myself, to step very deliberately out of my comfort zone, force myself to do hard, awkward, scary. Only by doing this will I learn and grow. I could take the easy option but people have signed up and I don't want to disappoint them - or myself.

I can't hide. I've been hiding all my life. Yes, I write the blog and am usually pretty open with what gets published but that's simple. I can write anything and people read it or they don't. The muse-letter is different, people sign up expecting something, they expect interesting, consistent, substance.

I fret that I don't have that in me on a regular basis.

It's one of those "it seemed a good idea at the time" things but reality is knocking on the door and I'm now thinking "what the hell am I doing?"

I publish something almost every day so what's the big deal? Perhaps it's because it's got a name, it's a "big idea" but I just have to think of it as a series of smaller ones, individual, manageable. I didn't think I was this nervous about it but that's where the morning pages come in to their own, they make you honest and help you see things you otherwise might not.

So the time for procrastination is over. I'm finished with the plumbing I just need to get something flowing through the pipes. I'm proud of the mechanism I've created so now just need to be equally proud of what it allows me to do.

The first edition of the muse-letter will, WILL, be sent out on Friday so there's still some time to sign up.


My new phone (the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra) is waiting for me at home and I'm itching to get to it and start playing setting it up.

I started thinking a while back about what it is that draws us to new devices, is it the hardware or software? It must be the hardware right? The new shiny, the spec sheets, screens and cameras? But what about the software?

One iPhone, or at least the software on it, looks just like another. Android devices can be customised so as to be almost unrecognisable and once we hit on a setup we like we often want to keep it. Still, when new updates come out we clamour to them, can't get them installed quick enough. iPhone users can generally get them straight away and start using all that new goodness, Android users are generally not so lucky, bemoaning the often glacial pace of manufacturers and carriers.

So, when phones no longer receive the latest updates, it must be new software that drives the purchase of a new phone, especially if the spec sheets and cameras hold no great appeal - look at the number of cheaper, midrange phones that get sold without all the bells and whistles of their Pro, Max or Ultra cousins.

It's a matter of preference and circumstance.

For me, personally, it's a combination of the two, hardware and software - I want the new shiny but also everything the latest version of the OS provides. When I get a new phone I set it up as a new device and never restore a backup; I want to give the new device a chance on its own merits, I want to experience that "new car smell" so to speak. I feel it's pointless getting something new and then having it look and behave exactly like the thing it replaced. I let my choices be influenced by the look and feel of the device, to allow it to establish its own identity.

It takes time and a lot of tweaking but I feel that's time well invested; I become familiar with the options, the intricacies of the software (particularly with OEM skins for Android) and the capabilities of the new slab of glass and metal in my hands. It makes the device better and easier to use as we (myself and the phone) have organically reached a consensus as to how it should be configured.