Finding the Write Time

For the past week or so, I’ve woken up at 7 a.m. to the opening chords of Hamilton (no surprise there, if you’ve read some of my other blog posts recently). My new morning routine goes something like this: dance along to Hamilton before turning off the alarm and turning on my laptop to write. I gather my binders and notebooks and set a goal for the morningedit something, write something, problem solve a solution to a plot hole in the novel I’m working on. Then, for the next 30 minutes, I put on my “Writing” playlist and set off towards accomplishing whatever goals I wrote down.

This is a relatively new routine for me, and, despite not being a zealous morning person, I have to say that I’m loving it so far. I saw a quote yesterday that read, “Set a goal that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning” and I realized that my writing goals make me want to do just that. No matter how tired I am, I’m always excited to get up, walk over to my desk and crack open my writing notebook.

As I’ve written before, this summer I am working full-time hours in a communications role. By carving out this half hour in the morning to write, I arrive at work at 9 a.m. already feeling like I’ve accomplished something for the day. Before I set this routine, I was trying to find time to write at nightand while I wrote blog posts after work, I never ended up working on writing fiction. Now, I am certain that I am making more progress than I otherwise would have been had I continued writing solely at night. I find it amazing that I can make significant progress towards my goals just by waking up 30 minutes earlier.

It can be tempting to only write when motivation strikes, but most creative people know that motivation is fleeting. What is not fleeting, however, is routine. I am the type of person who falls into a routine easily. To be honest, I did doubt my ability to wake up half an hour before I usually do; but I motivated myself by writing “a.m. editing” in my planner every day. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by my ability to use this morning time productively. One day last week I woke up at 7 a.m., only to realize that, for some reason, my laptop wouldn’t open Microsoft Word. I couldn’t work on the project I wanted to edit, but I didn’t go back to sleep. Instead, I used the time to readsomething else I don’t make enough time for in my life.

Although this morning writing routine is new to me, making time to write is not. In the winter, I made it my goal to write 1,000 words every day. I didn’t set aside a specific time because my school schedule was different every day. I still ended up fulfilling my goal, thoughI wrote 1,000 words every day, without fail, until I reached my goal of 80,000 words. Even on days when I was exhausted from school, I still managed to sit down and write. Once I got started, I couldn’t break the routine; and the daily sessions of writing fiction were a welcome break from my schoolwork.

Knowing who you are goes a long way in finding ways to motivate yourself to write. I know, for example, that I am motivated by visually seeing my progress; so I like to track my progress through charts where I can write down what I accomplish every day. Making charts is a small thing, but I honestly think that the charts where I wrote down my word count every day were one of the main reasons why I was able to continue writing 1,000 words every day back in the winter. I hope that the goal-setting charts I am using now will make my current morning writing sessions successful, too.

I had a comment recently asking about what my writing schedule is, and I guess this is it. As of last week, I write and edit for half an hour in the morning and I also spend extra time at night writing blog posts. It’s a schedule that is still evolving, but one that is based on what I know works for me. In the end, it’s a schedule that allows me to wake up in the morning and spend time doing what I love while making progress towards my goals. What could be better than that?

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84 thoughts on “Finding the Write Time

  1. I admire you for getting up early to write! I’m glad it works well for you 🙂
    I like how you mentioned that you feel accomplished even way before your actual day starts. It’s a good way to keep your momentum all throughout as you perform your daily tasks.
    I make time for writing during the night when I get home after work. I like being able to mull over my thoughts throughout the day and finding inspiration through different activities that goes on whether it may be in the office, or in my commute, or through whatever happens over the weekend, I like collecting them and making sense out of them. It’s something like a perfect way to end my day.

    1. Thanks Anna! I can definitely see how writing at night is nice for those reasons as well! I love the idea of, like you said, taking moments from the day and using them as inspiration for writing.

  2. I think good motivation and routine is already half of the success. Sometimes it`s really difficult to find a spare time to write especially when we work full time and get back tired thinking only about going to sleep. Probably the most productive time is in the morning and completing something in the morning gives you not only a satisfaction but also another kick to do it again. Thanks for sharing! Maybe I should start waking up a bit earlier 😛

  3. Thanks for this! I’ve been hesitant to try the wake up early method because I’m not a morning person but lately I’ve been getting up earlier and earlier so why not give it a shot? Glad to hear it’s working well for you.

  4. Wow, that’s so amazing and impressive that you’re able to keep up with your writing like that. I find it really difficult to post consistently during the school year, as I spend a lot of time on my schoolwork and have time for little else (I am a double major, so life is a bit hectic haha). I really want to try and stay on top of my blog this semester since I’ve been pretty consistent this summer. I write around one post per week, and I’m hoping this trend can continue. Thanks for the inspiration to keep writing! Feel free to check out my blog where I post original recipes and tips for how to eat healthfully in college!

    1. Thanks Dena! 🙂 I definitely agree it’s difficult to find time to blog (let alone write anything else) during the school year, but I’ve found that making time for it whenever possible makes me happier overall!

      1. That’s a good idea! I think I’m going to try to schedule in a specific time during the week that I will write no matter what’s going on. Though this is certainly easier said than done…

  5. “Finding and write time”, as you so perfectly shaped it, is something essential to me. I usually am content with what I write and when I write it, but I gather everytime that something there is missing. The routine. You’ve helped me come to that conclusion for which I thank you. I wish you good luck with everything you’ve set for yourself as a goal. 🙂

  6. I’ve been thinking about making some time in my morning to write, and it’s good to know someone else who isn’t a morning person was successful with this.

  7. As I am beginning to get back into my writing, I am going through routine establishment as well. Reading along, I found admiration in your routine! Thank you for sharing an effecient way to smoothly prioritize. 🙂 love and light my friend!

  8. I am definitely at my most creative in the mornings, but when my mornings fill up before I get the chance to write, I tend to try and write a bit during lunch. I very rarely write at night. Thanks for sharing!

  9. When I finally got to “The End” point of a manuscript in the past, it was due to the fact that I set my alarm 30 minutes earlier and made that my writing time. This post is a reminder that I need to do it again. I’d probably be done with my current WIP already! 😉

  10. I too started writing 750 words every day last April, though I made time for it in the evening,since I’m done with almost all my work by then. But lately I’ve been thinking of shifting my writing time to morning because sometimes I have too much work and then it’s bedtime when I actually sit down to write. Most of the things I’ve written late at night are useless rants which I can make no use of. But until school ends (February), I’ll have to stick to my current routine (I can’t give up my eight hours of sleep lol). It’s great that you’re enjoying this morning routine; I hope it will be the same for me.
    Also, thank you for sharing that quote, I’m going to put it up on my wall. 🙂

  11. Such a great motivational post. When I do wake up earlier in the morning, I try to add some writing in. Really makes me feel calm and satisfied. But at the same time, I do love my sleep haha. Maybe making it into a habit and a morning routine like you do will allow writing in the morning to become consistent. 🙂

  12. I love your dedication! Sounds like a perfect routine and start to the day! I tend to get blinded by my tunnel vision, and am a once I start something I need to sit down and finish it all the way through, so can’t start anything before I head off to work in the morning, but the days I do get up early and just enjoy a good cup of coffee, some perky tunes and a good breakfast and/or a walk, my day is already set up to be an enjoyable one. Thanks for a great read!

  13. I like the title, I saw what you did there… I’m still quite random about when I sit down to actually write my blog, but you inspire me to find my write time.

  14. I am a morning person but never thought of writing. Normally, I am reading books, articles and so on. Will try and write and see how it goes.

  15. I love your morning routine as it closely resembles mine and I find it to be very productive! I always tried to squeeze writing in wherever I could but often times the day always disappeared on me before I ever got the chance to sit and write a single word. Having a routine is the number one thing any writer can do for themselves. I’ve had this routine now for almost a year and I’ve been more productive in this single year than I have in all they years I’ve been writing. Good luck to you!

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