As usual, I am trying to do way too much. I'm working on editing my romance novel so that I can send a polished product to the editors and agents who have requested to see it. I started drafting a science fiction script for Scriptfrenzy. I'm working out and doing what I have to do to make sure I have healthy food choices available to me so that I can continue my weight loss journey. I'm helping to plan a party for a friend. I'm reading books on how to find time to write and 101 ways to improve my writing. Oh, and did I mention that I'm a lawyer who works full-time? So all that other stuff takes place in my spare time. The end result: I am one tired chick.
On my doctor's advice, and in accordance with the book “Time to Write” by Kelly L. Stone, I decided to try to go to bed earlier so that I can wake up early in the morning to work out and then do an hour or two of writing. But, instead of heeding the advice in the book and taking it one step at a time by setting my alarm clock five minutes earlier each day to gradually ease myself into a routine, I psychotically set it to wake me at 6:00a.m. on Monday morning.
Since I have this thing about trying to get every second out of the weekend and I usually watch Iron Chef America until 11:00p.m. on Sunday nights then putter around chopping fruit, brushing my teeth, washing my face, picking out my clothes, etc., I didn't get into bed until midnight and I didn't fall asleep until darn near 1:00a.m. (I watched a re-run of NCIS I had saved on the DVR).
Needless to say, when the alarm went off the next morning, I swatted the snooze button ten times and woke up closer to 7:00a.m. I dragged myself out of bed, worked out, edited my romance novel for half an hour, showered, dressed, packed my lunch and headed off to work.
When I got home that night, I was too brain dead to do anything more than have dinner and veg out in front of the television.
On Tuesday morning, I tried it again. I got into bed at 11:30p.m. and laid there with my eyes wide open (but with the television off) until after midnight. I then tossed and turned and barely slept because I was so expecting the alarm to go off at 6:00.m. This time, I only hit the snooze button once.
I dragged myself out of bed, worked out and edited my romance novel for an hour and forty minutes.
By Thursday morning, I didn't have to hit the snooze button at all. One of my favorite songs was playing on the radio: “Get up” by Mary Mary. The song is really uplifting and all about waking up, doing what you've got to do and really living your life. It was so appropriate that I hopped right out of bed.
I've been doing this for two weeks now and I've made more progress with editing my romance novel than I have in ages.
The early morning writing schedule isn't the only one that works, however. According to the novelists quoted in Kelly L. Stone's book (many of whom are bestsellers), some writers who work full-time or who have small children write late at night when everyone else is asleep, on the train when commuting to work, at work before or after business hours, or in large chunks of time on the weekend. Others write in ten and twenty minute increments or whenever they can find the time. The key is to be flexible and creative and have a burning desire to write.
It really is possible to find time to write – even with a schedule as crazy as mine.