August 24, 2011
wakey wakey eggs and...
I am still trying to find the best practice for me to generate word count on my novels in progress. I write a good chunk of the day at my job, and forcing myself to write when I am away from the office can be tough.
In previous posts, I've addressed ways I boosted my word count. I've written on airplanes and during layovers. I carry a small notebook and pen with me everywhere I go in case I feel a burst of inspiration. I even use my iPhone to type up cook notes.
Each of these ideas have worked to a degree. They enable me to write, and that's good, but these should all be ways for me to supplement my regular writing, not the answer.
What I need is more consistency. In my research, I've found many writers, especially those with full-time jobs or children, wake up early in the morning to write. This sounds like a reasonable idea to me.
In my experience, I am freshest in the morning and have the best ideas. At work, I try to get as much writing done first thing, because I know I'll dwindle as the day goes on. Even in college, when I had a paper to write it was more common for me to wake up early (like 3 a.m. early) the next morning to finish writing rather than staying up all night.
I am by no means a morning person, but then again I'm not-not a morning person. So this week, I decided to give this a shot. My results have been... not great.
Every night, I set my alarm for 5:45. Then I set a back-up for 6 and another for 7:30 — the time I absolutely have to put down my writing to pack, throw on my make-up, dress and leave for work.
Monday, I was up and at 'em by the time my second alarm went off. I hopped in the shower, mentally thinking I should start doing this at night to give me more time in the morning, and was sitting in front of my computer by 6:20. But the words wouldn't come. I kept thinking about the book I'd been reading the night before. I finally gave in and read a little more, then I began writing around 6:45. I managed to crank out about 750-1,000 words before work, which for the first day wasn't bad.
Then came yesterday. I admittedly had a stressful day at work Monday and tossed and turned all night. So when 5:45 came, I ignored the alarm. Then at 6, I reset it for 6:15. Then 6:30. Then 6:45. Soon, it was 7:30, and I had to rush to get to work.
Today, I had more discipline and got up with the 6 a.m. alarm. I took my shower — again, thinking I should have done it last night — but was at my computer in good time. I wrote a little, but my thoughts were too foggy. At 7:15, I gave up writing on my story and decided to write this post.
Not much success so far, but I don't think I'm ready to give up yet. It is only day three, and it takes a while to build habits. If I can keep waking myself up early and shift my internal clock, hopefully by next week I can see the benefits of it.
It might not help me hit the 50,000-word mark by Aug. 31, which I'm trying to do in conjunction with Camp NaNoWriMo, but it will certainly help me in the long-run.