Writing in the Morning

I am not a morning person. I have no problem getting up in the morning (most of the time) but don’t ask me to do any work or anything mentally stimulating when I first get up. During the week, my usual routine of getting ready for work helps get the brain going so that by the time I actually get to my classroom, I can speak coherently and impart some wisdom on my students – or at least speak with a bit of coherence and freely joke (or admit) that I’m sure I don’t have a damn clue what I’m doing.

One of my preferences for the past few years has been to sleep in a little bit on Saturday and Sunday, to make the most of not having to get up for work while still not pissing away my entire morning. This weekend, though, I did something different. On Saturday, I met a couple other writers at a coffee shop shortly before 9 a.m., with the specific goal of putting words on the page. I had no idea how productive I was going to be; I didn’t expect much. But somehow, by the end of our morning session, I had written almost 3000 words on a new short story (without much of an outline, which is also unusual for me) and continued compiling some word association poems I’m working on with the help of some other writers. Not only that, but I was way more productive for the rest of my day, even with spending a fair bit of time watching a movie and playing through Dragon Age: Inquisition.

This morning, I woke up early by fluke, and so I decided to go back to the coffee shop, and finished drafting the story. Total word count for the first draft is just shy of 5000 words, after a combined total of about 4 hours of solid writing.

I’ve read articles before talking about how your brain is more creative first thing in the morning, but I always stuck that in the category of Things That Work for Other Writers. This weekend, at least, the strategy seemed to work for me. It might have something to do with the fact that I wasn’t up to much Friday or Saturday night, or the fact that I was frustrated with having gotten very little done on my writing through the week. But now I want to see if I can replicate this on future weekends. If I can, I might have a shot at getting through my list of “To-Write” projects faster than I expected. Considering I had a brainstorm of ideas for a new novel that I REALLY want to get started on right away, the more I can get done, the better…

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