Committed to Writing? (Don’t Do What I Do…)

The jaunty jingle of my cell phone alarm pleasantly drew me from my sleep, and I awoke, refreshed, my heart full of gratitude. Our two cats lifted sleepy heads, blinked slowly, and fell right back to sleep. With ease, I slipped from my bed and changed from night clothes into running gear before hopping onto the treadmill.

A mere forty-five minutes later, I had exercised, showered, read my Bible and accompanying devotional, and was changing into my work clothes. Then, bottle of water and a handful of carrot sticks in hand, I quietly tiptoed into the office and began writing in the quiet hush of pre-dawn. Keys clicking away beneath my deft fingers, I write three brilliant short stories sure to wow my potential agent and–

More or less how I feel as a writer most of the time.
[Public domain]

Okay, that’s really not how my morning went. In reality, I groaned and grumbled when my alarm went off at 3:57am. I hit snooze a few times, then fell back asleep and waited for my “wrap up exercising so you can hop in the shower” alarm to go off, at which point I dragged my pitiful self out of bed. The cats, evil hellbeasts that they are, immediately raced me to their dishes and began an incessant yowl-fest as they demanded breakfast.

Ignoring them, I read my devotionals on the toilet. (I can’t be the only person who reads on the toilet, so I have no shame admitting that.) My eyes refuse to focus, and I complain inwardly to myself the whole time that I read through Genesis. For good measure, I roll my eyes at Abraham’s lack of faith in light of God’s promise. Psh, if I were Abraham, I wouldn’t doubt…

Slowly, very slowly, I wake up and eventually make my way into the office a little after 5am, cookie in hand because who wants to eat carrot sticks that early in the morning? I try to write, but my brain isn’t functioning yet, so I check facebook, twitter, email… Too late, I realize I started ringing the death knell of my morning’s writing session. I end up writing very little, and by the time I leave for work, I am a failed writer.

To lend a little perspective, this is only my second week of attempting an early morning writing schedule. To be fair, it’s worked out fairly well. It means that I actually write daily–unless I willingly distract myself with the internet–and for the most part, I feel pretty great about the whole process. (Yay! I’m writing!) And when  I have less than productive mornings–like today–I’m learning to give myself grace, which is a long uphill battle. But honestly? Making writing a priority instead of a hobby can be hard. (Do you hear the whine in my voice?) Commitment don’t come easy.

So what are your writing habits? Have you found a schedule/process that works for you? Please share! If you have other creative pursuits, feel free to share about your process for those as well.

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