This is one of those Monday morning where I hunch glassy-eyed over my computer, hands wrapped around my favorite Stars on Ice coffee mug, blearily wishing I had written a post last night like I had originally planned instead of blithely assuming my brain would be working better in the morning.
HA HA. Merriment! (as Eeyore would say.)
For the last few weeks, I started getting up half an hour earlier than my usual time. Yesterday and today, I managed to bump that back by another half hour. This has been fantastic, because I used to get up about five minutes before my kids (who are ridiculously early risers, and will probably be the teens who bounce out of bed smiling at six in the morning – wait, do those sorts of teenagers even exist? If they do, my girls will definitely be among their ranks), and the day started with “Mommy I need this” and just kept going from there.
Now I get time in the morning to start my day with a large glass of water I can drink straight down without interruption. I open my Bible and get a chapter or two read. I brew my coffee, talk quietly (so as not to wake the littles up early) with my husband before he heads off to work, make my breakfast, check my blogs, and if I am very good (or there are very few blogs that morning), even get in a few moments of writing time before thump, thump, thump “MOMMY!” is heard and my daily duties begin.
I know conventional wisdom says I should use all that time to write. Honestly, though, I’ve never been much for conventional wisdom. I am a better person, and therefore a better writer, by spending my morning routine this way. I am hoping at some point to push this getting-up business back by another half hour, which ought to give me all the time I need to do all this AND write in the morning.
I’ll be going to bed every night at 9:00 by that point in time, but who cares? I’m thirty years old, married eight years (tomorrow), with kids out of the toddler stage and into the kid stage – I’M OLD. I can go to bed at 8:30 if I want!
My writing has not been suffering for my new morning routine. It has improved, as fact. Nor are my kids suffering from neglect – I’ve been spending more time throughout the day interacting with them, too. My house is generally a wreck, but out of all the things I can let go, that’s top of the list. I do still manage to get meals on the table, even though they might not be as fancy as sometimes since I’m not wanting to spend as much time in the kitchen.
I have three short stories and one novella in the editing stages. One short story ready for the second draft. One partway through the outlining process, two partway through the first draft. And all this since June. That is shockingly prolific for me.
So I guess what I’m getting to here is, sometimes conventional wisdom has to be thrown out the window. Preferably a second- or third-story window for a more satisfying crash at the landing. Find what works best for you, what helps you become the best person you can be, and the writing will follow. Conventional wisdom doesn’t know you; only you know that, and so only you can decide what your best life and writing path will look like.
And above all, find joy in it!