What is your morning routine?
I generally wake up around 4:30am and make a pot of coffee. Twyla Tharp said that in order to get to the gym in the mornings, she focuses only on getting to the cab because she knows if she makes it to the cab, then she’s good. The pot of coffee is my cab.
On ideal days, I read one reflection from a book called 365 Tao: Daily Meditations, and then I meditate for five minutes. I sometimes write in my journal for a few minutes to remember details from the previous day—and to just warm up creatively. I then dive into whatever writing project I have going and try to stay off the internet so I can focus as intensely as possible. My dog Buster usually joins me by this point, and he sleeps on my lap with my laptop perched on top of him (he’s now a key part of my creative process).
Unfortunately, around 6:00 or 6:15am, I have to switch to my long queue of email because if I don’t triage it and answer as many as possible, it becomes overwhelming. At 6:30, I rouse my kids from sleep to get ready for school, and then I walk Buster and try to think through my morning’s writing.
After the mad rush to get the kids to school, I go to work for part two of my morning routine—my day job at NaNoWriMo.
How long have you stuck with this routine so far?
I’ve done this for the last five years or so. I think my brain reacted to an increasingly busy life by insisting that I get up early in order to write.
I’ve always been a morning person, but rising so early is a new thing. Sometimes I’m up as early as 3:00am. I just wake up and can’t go back to sleep, so I get up to write, which I consider a blessing.