Many of my writer and creative-type friends have just drifted into their REM states when I get up in the morning. The sun hasn’t even opened one eye, but I stumble down the stairs to feed my cats and open my laptop.
It’s for a pretty simple reason, really. Time.
I’ve been doing this for several years now. I guess I’m trying to stomp on the popular refrain of busy people: There are only 24 hours in each day. Here’s my trick. Getting up before everyone except my cats adds minutes and hours to my day. No, I don’t have a plutonium-filled DeLorean in my garage (unfortunately!), but I am adding minutes and hours to my writing day.
It’s the way I have to do it. I teach first grade, and there’s something I learned forever ago from my mom who taught six and seven-year-olds before me: they take more energy than you thought existed in your mind and body. It’s a wonderful, satisfying type of exhaustion, but it leaves very little for the end of my day.
But if I didn’t carve out that writing time, I’d be a different kind of exhausted – the cranky, shuffle-around-mumbling kind.
And it’s true, unless you are meeting Dr. Emmett Brown and Marty McFly in the parking lot of the Twin Pines Mall, you’re going to have to give up something to create your own writing minutes and hours. It might be sleep or a kind-of-favorite TV show. It could be your surfing time (and I don’t mean on the beaches of sunny California).
It might be a little uncomfortable at first, like a little pinch or a scrape-your-knee-and-need-your-mother-to-blow-on-it way, but you can push through it. You should push through it.
Because when you do, you are left with a book . . . or a poem . . . or a song. And that’s worth every bit of it.