I’ve always been an early riser, because most of my work has required that: Registered Nurse, Airline Stewardess, mother. When I began writing novels it was natural to write in the early morning. By 11 a.m. I was out the door for a walk, swim, or to the gym, and with the day’s words behind me. Then I moved to the desert, and with a dog who adored her morning and evening walk it meant getting an earlier start due to the higher temperature.
Writing soon became not the first event of the day. That was okay, because I’d come back home by 8 a.m. shower and head into the office ready to start the day. Then my dog passed away. Shortly after that I got published. Then I started the merry-go-round of publishing. I juggled each book in its myriad forms of first round edits, final edits, marketing, promotion, and tons of stress and worry. Writing new words took a back seat. For a writer that’s bad news. Without words ya’ got nuthin’.
I adore Chuck Wendig, and this is his take on giving up: Every time you fail to finish your work, a little girl loses another kitten. A unicorn loses his horn and becomes a regular stupid old horse. A sweet old lady chokes on her dentures. But worst of all, every time you fail to finish your work it wears another hole in your soul. Of course there is more, but not knowing Chuck personally, I’m not sure how much of a quote I can get away with without being sued. ; ) But here is one of Chuck’s friends:
My post-getting-published routine started with checking e-mails. Then I spent several hours on FB, Twitter, Kindle Boards, my favorite blogs, and of course checking my Amazon ranking. Add in a few blogs where I left comments, and yep, you got it…it was after 10 a.m. and I was still in pajamas. So I’d hustle down the hall, throw in a load of laundry, shower and dress, and head over to Curves for a workout. On the way home I’d run errands. Some days I’d arrive back home well after the lunch hour. By 3-4 p.m. I’d be in my recliner, or curled up on the couch taking a fifteen minute nap. Then it was what’s for dinner?
So what happened to my morning? What happened to my day? It seemed foreign to head into the office after dinner, because that was my downtime. Except now I wasn’t even having an uptime. My day was consumed by an excess of the trivial.
This week I took back my morning. I wrested it from the greedy hands of social media with new rules:
- Check e-mail while eating breakfast, but then go straight to work for at least three hours of writing.
- By 11 a.m. leave for a workout and run errands.
- On returning home, treat myself to social media.
It’s a plan, a good plan, but will it work? Tell me how you handle your writing day? Or is it only a stolen hour here and there during the work day, or while the little ones nap? If you aren’t getting the words on paper, re-read Chuck’s words: http://www.terribleminds.com and for heaven’s sake think of the unicorns.