Monica Ong Recommends...

“My reality consists of full-time work, parenting, family, friends, and a laptop full of clients. When to write? One shift I made was to identify my ‘golden hour,’ the most conducive time of day for creative risk-taking, making, and doing. My husband is a night owl, but for me, it’s 4:00 AM to 6:00 AM. Everyone’s asleep, I’m freshly energized and not yet cluttered with the day’s noise. I make a list of no more than three goals to focus on so I can hit the ground running and make the most of it. I safeguard it from distraction or external requests, and show up adequately fed, with childcare covered. Outside of the ‘golden hour,’ I feed my writing with weekly self-care (zumba and yoga) and centering practices like chanting and meditation to help me prioritize playful messy progress over perfection. I obsessively watch modern dance (Pina) and choreography videos (Yanis Marshall, Jabbawockeez!) to observe how ordinary movements are deconstructed and reinterpreted into deliberate forms and primal gestures. But nothing beats the act of encouraging another human being: picking up the phone, or even better, meeting face to face over tea and cookies. Encouraging someone is how we exercise our most important assets: paying attention, listening, telling stories, braving the front lines of human struggle, and participating in shared vulnerability.”
—Monica Ong, author of Silent Anatomies (Kore Press, 2015)