I’m ever so slowly getting back in the groove of Dark & Early writing. It’s hard, don’t get me wrong, and it never gets easier. But the only sure way to guarantee I can get at least 500-1000 words a day is to get them BEFORE anyone else is up and demanding my time.
There are a few key things I have to remind myself each and every day to make that precious hour productive.
1. Roll out of bed WITH the alarm, instead of turning it off and staying in bed “just a few more minutes.” Because pretty soon I’ll have convinced myself that I’m too tired to get up and I’ll let my backup alarm (when everyone else needs to get up) take effect. No thinking. Just get UP.
2. Set up the coffee pot the night before, so all I have to do is hit the button. I’ll take the dogs out and come back to fresh hot coffee. (I don’t use the timer just in case I do go back to sleep — no sense in wasting my good Caribou coffee!)
3. Check in with my accountability partner, Jenna. Usually she’s up before me, but every once in a while I beat her to the punch. We e-mail each other every day. “I’m up and I’m going to work on Vicki today.” Or “Man, it sucks, I got a rejection yesterday, but I’m going to write anyway.” “Or damn, I overslept! Sorry!” Those suck but happen. Knowing that she’s waiting for my morning e-mail definitely encourages me to get up when that alarm goes off the first time and not the “normal” alarm.
4. Other than e-mailing my friend, no other e-mail, Google Reader, or Lord forbid, Twitter. It’s way too easy to get sucked in. There’s absolutely nothing worse than sacrificing an hour of precious sleep, only to realize you’ve wasted it online instead of writing.
Why all this push? A couple of reasons. I’m in the final third of Vicki. Maybe the final fourth (first draft). I have momentum and I’m not going to let her stall on me again, no matter how tough and emotional these scenes get. Finish. The. Damned. Book.
NaNoWriMo is just around the corner. I need Vicki done so I can start the next project, and I still need to decide which one, finish plotting, etc. Getting up D&E is the only way I’ll be able to win NaNoWriMo unless I take all my remaining vacation. Christmas? Who needs days off at the holidays when I’m behind on word count?
After a week or two, I’m hoping the routine will be solidified and I can double up on projects. I’ll get new words in the morning, and worldbuild/plot at night. In a perfect world, I’ll finish an erotic novella in October and work on the post-apoc in November, but I have a feeling I might be doing both in Nov. Or something else entirely, since I don’t have either of them fully plotted!
(A side effect of this productivity: my blogging mojo is slowly coming back too!)
Do you have any routines that help you set aside dedicated writing time?