Friday, 14 March 2008

A new regime

I have decided that it's time to kick ass on my novel. None of this trying to write it after work malarkey (I'm freelance, I work from home - just when exactly is 'after work'). And evenings (which seem to be starting later and later these days) only occasionally work for me as writing slots. I was in despair as obviously what I needed was a time machine - one that could make more of the stuff for me. Then a comment by Jen at Spiral Skies about the loss of her 5am writing slot made me realise that I have been wasting two hours a day - lying in bed, sometimes asleep but mainly thinking about getting up and wondering what the weather's like. So, for the past week I have been getting up at 6 and writing until 8, at which point the family descends the stairs and the rest of my life kicks in.

And you know what? - it's really working. Getting out of bed has been no problem - it's not as if I'm having to don dubiously whiffy running gear and sprint out into the streets (which I have been known to do at that hour) and I'm not having to catch a train, get dressed up smart or apply make-up (especially not in that order). I just sit down at the computer in my dressing gown with a cup of tea and - write!

I've noticed three major advantages of writing at this time of day:

As I have only just stepped out of bed the world has not had time to intrude and my mind is in that blissful optimistic 'new day' state (just before I remember the hundreds of things i have to do before its bedtime again). I am more focussed and less woolly.

I have got up early specifically to write so I don't do any of my usual procrastinating, otherwise I know I could have just as well stayed in bed.

Starting the day with my novel means that it stays with me for the rest of the day - I am becoming more absorbed in it and this has really helped with my characters and the plot development

Result - lots of words, many of which I am very pleased with. Am I tired? No, not really - six isn't that early really. I have been going to bed slightly earlier but not by much. Ok so this is week one and maybe it's like the first week of anything new - you say you can do it for ever but by week three you're wishing you hadn't been so rash, and could everybody please just forget that you ever mentioned it. But we'll see. I know it's worked for lots of other people - one friend wrote her entire novel between 5-7am over eight months - so I'm prepared to give it a try (But if this post does mysteriously disappear in the middle of April you'll know why).


HelenMH said...

I am so impressed! I'm not really a morning person, but I think if you can deal with the early start that's a really fantastic way of making good solid progress.

SpiralSkies said...

Oh, well done... getting up early to write rocks - I'm sure it's better to start before real life kicks in. It's lovely at this time of year too when it's just starting to get light.

Long may it last!

KAREN said...

That's a really good idea - I always feel at my most clear-headed first thing, but by the time the children are off to school etc. the morning's already started slipping away. Maybe I should get myself to bed earlier and set the alarm earlier and give it a whirl :o)

Maddie Moon said...

Good luck with the new regime! I think it's a great idea if it works for you. I'm not really a morning person, still trying to find my best time of the day!

Moondreamer said...

Sarah, well done you!

I've read this advice a few times recently, it's good to hear it's working for you.

It wouldn't work for me though, I get into creative flow late at night ... my very early mornings are the end of my day rather than the beginning!


Leigh said...

...the world has not had time to intrude and my mind is in that blissful optimistic 'new day' state

I have got up early specifically to write so I don't do any of my usual procrastinating...

Starting the day with my novel means that it stays with me for the rest of the day - I am becoming more absorbed in it...

I love what you have written here, and the feelings that must be behind these words. I get woken up at God-only-knows-what-time by the children, and waste the following hour, at least, lying in bed failing to go back to sleep.

I'm going to try getting up. I'm going to take my laptop, and go and hide in the small boy's room (last place he'll be at 6.30am)!

I love the idea of starting the day with my novel rather than ending it, when I am already tired, stressed and grumpy!

This is sooo inspirational. You're a star!

Leigh said...

In fact, you're such a star, that I would like to present one to you. Please go to this page to pick it up!

Sarah Dunnakey said...

Helen - yes being a morning person helps - although I'm only a morning person if the morning has plenty of tea in it.

Spiral - thanks - a week and a half in and still going strong!

Karen - give it a go why not, I am actually finding it quite addictive

Maddie - see tea comment above! Hope you find the right time for you, it can really make a difference

Moondreamer - it's great that you can get creative at night - I always used to think that would work for me but it rarely has.

Leigh - oh thank you! That has made my day. I was just beginning to wonder whether I was going to be able to keep up the blogging with everything else that I'm trying to do but comments like yours (and all those above)remind me what a fantastically supportive community we have here and how I want to remain part of it.
The star is lovely - I will treasure it. (loved your comment on Helen's blog by the way about organisation - I have printed it out as a reminder to self- Ta!)