New thing follow-up

This morning’s experiment in getting up earlier to write might have been made better by

-Going to bed a bit earlier. I was up until 11 reading Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead, and basically had to force myself to PUT IT DOWN.

-Maybe not read such interesting stuff before bed. My copy of Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks is actually the perfect pre-bedtime read. It’s the most interesting book that has ever made me completely ready to put it down and go to sleep.

-Getting up when the alarm goes off. I’m awake already. Snoozing the alarm is awesome, but those six minutes are not going to make a difference. I don’t go back to sleep in six minutes. I start thinking about what a schlub I am for breaking promises to myself. Get up.

Things I did right:

-Got a new alarm clock. Ursa is a good alarm, but sometimes she’s sleepy. And if it’s thundering, forget it. She’s not leaving her bed, and neither am I. (My other real alarm clock stopped working a while back.)

-Set up my computer the night before: on lap desk, fully charged. Cord packed in bag to take with me to work (since I intend to write at lunch as well).

-Set up my writing goals the night before: I don’t outline, but about halfway through a book, I start to keep a list of beats and scenes I see coming down the pike, things I know have to happen, people I know have to interact, ideas on how all these loose ends will tie up together. Bleary eyes only have to open up the notes file, check to see what’s next. Start typing.

-Don’t care how good the writing is. Seriously, that is what editing is for.

-Stopped at the allotted time. If I end up being late, it’s not a workable plan and I won’t make it part of my regular schedule. At 7:00, I closed the computer, changed from pajamas to sweats, fed and walked the dog. We got back from the walk at the time we normally do. The only difference? I was feeling pretty kick-ass for having written before work. I even took Ursa for a longer walk, I was feeling so good. (She wasted it by sniffing everything.)

My friend Mary Anne and I are doing this together. Anyone want to join us?

By Published On: June 13, 2011Categories: Writing, Writing life