How I Started Early Morning Writing
- 7:00-8:00 - Prep for Work
- 8:00-8:15 - Commute (Driving wish I could take public transportation, used to write on the bus on the way to my old job)
- 8:15-12:00 - Work
- 12:00-1:00 - Lunch, I usually spend at least a half an hour writing and eating.
- 1:00 - 4:30 - Work
- 4:30 - 4:45 - Commute
- 4:45 - 7:30 - Spend time with my son, eat supper, do odds and ends around the house
- 7:30 - 8:00 - Put son to bed
- 8:00 - 10:00 - Quality time with my wife
- 10:00-7:00 - Sleep (well as much as I can with a 6week old sharing the bed)
1: Just Do it!If you are already a morning person than you obviously don't have much trouble getting going. Me, I find that I have drank an entire pot of coffee before I have gotten the energy to even blink. You have to realize it's a mind set, a habit you must break, figure out your priorities. I always thought that getting up before you had to was for old people. That normal people stayed in bed for as long as they possibly could, calculating what you could shave off time wise to hit that snooze button one more time. An hour and a half of writing? That's like ten hits on the snooze button! STOP IT! If you can't find anything other than some sleep time to sacrifice for writing time you are likely a grown up (I'd use adult but I was that long before I became a grown-up). As a grown up you don't need to laze around in bed as long as you can. If you are serious about writing then use this time. If you have to skip watching the news and go to bed an hour earlier so be it.
It is so much easier to surf, hang out on twitter, catch up on e-mail and all the other things that computers are used for. It's time to pretend your computer is a typewriter. The computer I use is almost old enough to vote. I can't hook up to the Internet if I wanted to. Have an old laptop kicking around? Use that if you can. Trust me, early in the morning is the easiest time to click on the little e (or C or whatever) and then before you know it, it's time for work. Unplug your computer from the Internet, create a profile that can't access. Do something that will keep you from turning on the Internet. This time is for writing only, not even anything writer related (research/marketing etc). Have your coffee and breakfast ready before you start, feed and walk your dogs, drug your wife, whatever it takes to eliminate anything that will get in the way of your productivity.
I knew from the get go that there was no way I could write new stuff at that time in the morning. If you are an outliner, that's awesome. Don't try outlining, try filling stuff in. I am not an outliner, I am a plodder. If I try to plod ahead with my story this early in the morning when I'm not used to hid my face will be in the dirt. Nothing is more disheartening writing page after page of crap.
I do it six days a week. I take Sundays off because, lets face it, I'm dedicated but not crazy. Think of it like your job. If you stayed up late the night before and were really tired could you sleep in in the morning? (The answer is no by the way). You have to tell yourself you are doing this because you are a serious writer. Explain to those around you that getting up early doesn't mean unloading the dishwasher or taking the dogs for an extra walk or changing a poopie diaper. If you wake up to a puddle on the floor from a blown pipe think to yourself, if I had woken up an hour later then what? Go write and deal with it in a hour.
Share your writing with people, your S.O., tweet about it, set goals and share them in a Blog with a table. My goal is to write at least 500 words every morning. I tried to set up a club on twitter (#6amWriters) where you reported you word count and encouraged others to share theirs. So far I have only convinced one person to do it one time, I blame it on #pubwrite. If this could get off the ground it would be a great resource. I find that it's all fine and good to set your goals and try to achieve them but if the only guilt you feel for not doing it is your own you eventually loose focus and that snooze button starts growing again.
Thanks for Reading
D. Ryan Leask