Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Day Ones

Day Ones are always difficult.

Some years ago, I got most of my writing done (I'm a children's book author and essayist, though I've got nothing published in the former, a handful in the latter) first thing in the morning. My alarm went off at 5 AM, and I dutifully got up, tip-toed downstairs past sleeping children, thanked my lucky stars that programmable coffee makers exist, and sat down with my laptop. I got a lot of work done in that hour. A lot of slices typed out, a lot of picture books edited, and a whole chapter book written.

However, that chapter book is still in progress. I wrote it during Camp NaNoWriMo in April 2014. And it's still undergoing edits big and small.

I'm proud of the manuscript and it's getting there. I'm learning a lot about how to write a book--or at least how to write this book. My old critique group in Virginia and my new critique group out here are pushing me as hard as I need to be pushed, giving me feedback and encouraging me to do it. I am proud at how the book has evolved.

But it's still not done, and I'm hell-bent on submitting it to an agent that I've met and worked with by my children's last day of school. (Summer break has a tendency to not be as productive as I'd like.) That's three months away.

Two days ago, I had to admit that my current schedule was not working. My primary job is stay-at-home mom for my three young kids, and this is the golden year--all my children are in school for the first time all day long. But somehow the hours fill up with errands and appointments and working out, and my writing time is squeezed out. If I want to reach my goal, I need to change something about that schedule.

So here I am. 5:30 AM. My first day of returning to the early-morning writing circle. I'm back, a little blurry-eyed and grateful for that same coffee maker. I'm training my dog that I'm not available for playing, just one-handed pets while both hands aren't employed with a thought or an improvement on my laptop.

The silence is familiar, though, and wonderful. This is going to work!


Unknown said...

I live alone, but I am a morning person and do my best work at home, before school. I am just too tired when I get home. I adopted this early morning routine several years ago. You will probably feel tired at some point, but persevere, you will get the groove soon enough.

Liz McKenna said...

I so admire your dedication to the morning routine! I know for sure that mornings are the best time for my personal work, but it's so hard to tell myself that when it's dark out and the covers are so cozy!

Thanks for sharing!

travelinma said...

I love writing early in the morning before anyone gets up, but I have been unable to sustain this practice. I admire you......Best.