Why You Ought to be Writing in the Morning (Part 2)

This post follows on from my last post on why I ended up writing in the mornings (even though I’m a night person). You can read that post here.

Starting a routine that includes writing in the morning is not easy. As I said in my previous post, I’m not a morning person. I’ll repeat:

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If you’ve read my previous post, you’d know that for me, the writing was on the wall (pun intended!). I had to find some writing time, and mornings was the only option I had left. I know I’m in the same boat as all of you other lovely writers out there; we all play the ‘find some writing time’ game – trying to shoe-horn writing time around a hundred other things: work, children, our partners, cleaning and all the other myriad of jobs and tasks that make up life in general. The amazing Kate Forsyth wrote in the park while her children played. J K Rowling wrote in a café while her child slept. Other people write on train commutes, or during lunch breaks. Like everything else in life, we decide how important writing is to us and make time (or not) accordingly. When there’s no boss looking over your shoulder, no KPIs to meet, or bills to pay (of course there’s always bills to pay, but for must of us writers, it isn’t our writing that’s paying them), it’s easy to let writing drop down on the priority list.

Every writer decides what they’re willing to sacrifice to get words on the page. So, for me, after realising that the only time I had to write was mornings, I set my alarm clock for 5am (which gave me a solid 2 hours before I needed to get the kids up for school at 7am) and got up to write. Two hours of sleep was a sacrifice I was willing to make.

I’m not going to lie to you. Getting up in the morning sucks. It’s cold, it’s dark, the bed is warm and your brain is fuzzy. You trip over the dog. You scald yourself pouring coffee into your cup. And when you get to your computer, you’ve no ideas other than how nice it would be to go back to bed about now. Once, again, it’s a bit like this (but far less cute):

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But you’re up, and you’re at your computer, so you write. Everything you write is pretty much drivel. But you figure your first drafts are usually drivel anyway. You push on, keep going and before you know it, an alarm goes off, or a child gets out of bed, or the dog starts barking to go out, or the sun will rise and you’ll have to stop what you’re doing (sometimes mid-sentence, but even that isn’t as bad as I imagined it would be) and say to yourself ‘that’s it for today’.

And, if you’re like me, you’ll find that after 2 hours of solid writing (minus breaks for coffee and the bathroom and a piece of toast and some internet research), you’ll have written between 1000 and 2000 words (maybe a little bit more on a good morning). And best of all, you don’t have to think about writing for the rest of the day, because your word count is already done! How awesome is that?!

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Instead, you can use your time to enjoy what you’re doing with your day and let your story simmer at the back of your mind, knowing you’re going to revisit it again tomorrow. Your energy goes into thinking about your story, rather than worrying about whether you’ll have the time or energy to physically sit down at your keyboard (which can be enervating in itself.)

If you need further encouragement to switch to mornings, why not check out this article here, which explains why science thinks we ought to be morning writers (and don’t despair if mornings aren’t really your thing, if you read the whole article it has plenty to say about the value of routine building regardless of the time).

So you’re sold on morning writing now, right? But still not sure how you’re going to get out of bed? My next post includes my top 6 tips for early rising writers and how to make the switch to morning writing.

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Book Review: On Writing by Stephen King

onwriting

297 pages

Published 2002 by Pocket Books

 

Greetings Brave Adventurers,

This book by prolific author Stephen King is part biography and part writing handbook, and should most definitely be on the ‘must read’ list of any aspiring fiction author.

I’m going to start my review at the end, for I finished this book feeling strangely uplifted and positive about my writing. Perhaps it was King’s assertion that there is no simple ‘pill’ to making a selling writer. His advice is that a writer is made from hard work, a touch of luck and a certain amount of natural ability.

King’s advice is straightforward and simple, and is guaranteed to make your writing instantly better; edit hard, write every day, read, get rid of adverbs and unnecessary attributions and stop watching TV (which I think is great advice for everyone). The way he explains the act of writing and reading was a real ‘ah-ha’ moment for me. Not all his advice I agreed with; I continue to plot to some extent, finding his ‘pantser’ method leads to too much rambling.

The advice King gives is sandwiched between biographical recounts of his childhood and younger years, and a terrible car-crash he had in 2000, which nearly killed him. King knows how to spin a tale, for the glimpse into his youth was fascinating, and I had a huge smile on my face when he narrated his ‘big break’ with Carrie, after a life of financial hardship. In contrast, the recount of his car crash and the resulting injuries was a terrible moment in Stephen King’s life, one that he is lucky to have survived.

If you have not read this book, I highly suggest that you do.
10/10 masterful dragons

10 dragons