Having Written O’Clock


I've never been a morning person, and though I have dabbled with writing early in the day over the years, only in the last six months or so have I actually been able to execute it on a regular basis. This morning I went back to my morning writing schedule (up at or before 6 a.m.), which I plan to stick to for the duration of this revision.

I think the switch is a combination of factors:

  • The knowledge that things are just too busy many days to delay it and still have writing happen and knowing the angst cycle that results when the writing doesn't get done.
  • The loss of regular lunchtime writing time (again: see busy).
  • My journey away from the perils of procrastination.
  • The fact that I'm really and truly in love with the world and story I'm working on right now, so it actually ranks above that extra 45 minutes of sleep.

I have always been one of those people who can write through hurricane or hailstorm, and not a diva at all about the specific conditions necessary to get to work. But I do really like my sleep. And I do really hate getting up early. So it's no small thing to be able to pry my eyes open these days and do the thinking and typing. There is something to be said for the hidden quality of time before the world intrudes. And, as expected, I feel a lot better about the State of the World once some production time has been done. I actually don't hate writing, but don't we all have a smidgen of the Dorothy Parker Disease*? Having written is even nicer.

The thing I'm most addicted to now though, is an unanticipated side effect of this schedule. I tend to make more overall progress, because any writing session later in the day is icing on a pragmatic cupcake. Also, because the early morning never feels fully real, writing later in the day doesn't necessarily feel like the second hour. It feels like another first one. Perhaps that means the real lesson is that achieving things is all about mental trickery–or good scheduling habits.

*Offered without comment. Dan Brown cannot be destroyed.

Having Written O’Clock