Another month has passed and I am so involved in this hula conference that I had, again, stalled in working on my novel. Of course, I am beating myself up about it and so my husband — bless his heart — reaches out to a friend of ours who is a published author, asking for any advice she might impart to help me get back and stay on track with my project. After all, I have been working on this project on and (mostly) off for a few years now.
Anyway, our husbands are band mates and a week ago, after a gig, everyone went over to their place for a small celebration of her husband’s birthday. During that little soiree, she and I had a nice talk and she told me that she had worked for 8 years on her début novel. She was having a difficult time writing during the day because they were running their business and she was just overwhelmed with interruptions. Finally, she decided enough was enough and she started a new routine. She got up at 4 am and wrote for two hours every morning, seven days a week, until she finally finished her book. By 6 am, she was ready to prepare for her work day.
She saw the look of horror on my face and quickly explained that, for her, it was the best time of the day because there was no distraction. Nothing going on. No phone calls, no email, nothing. In that time, her mind was fresh and her characters talked to her and began revealing their story to her. There was no struggle getting the words down. After a while, she would wake up automatically, right at 4 am, looking forward to her time with her characters.
So, I resolved to give it a whirl. I mean, what could it hurt, right? It’s not like I’m doing anything but sleeping that time of the morning. Last Monday, I awoke at 5 am — no need to get up as early as 4am because my workday starts later than hers — got out my computer, and in the darkness, started to write. The first morning yielded about 300 words, the next 600, the 3rd day I wrote more than 800 words! It has been seven days now and I have added an astounding 3500 words and 9 pages to my novel! The last two mornings, I have awakened at 4:43 — same time both mornings — before my alarm goes off at 5am.
When I arise, I get the cats fed, my hot tea ready and turn on the computer. By 5:20, I am writing. This new routine is amazing and deeply gratifying. Of course, I need to readjust my day a little and I usually take about an hour nap late in the afternoon, but the point is that I am fresh and ready to write in the early hours of the morning, every morning. And my novel is progressing.
Wonderful what a little willingness to make a change and create a new routine can do. I am forever grateful for the advice I received from my friend. We are celebrating another birthday this evening after the band plays their gig and I look forward to telling her just how much of a positive impact this new routine has made for me!
(Also posted on my blog at http://andreahunter313.com)