By Scott D. Parker
All writing advice boils down to the obvious: Just Write. Those words are painted on a ceramic pencil holder I keep on my writing desk. On the back of it, I put a small red dot. When the lady at the ceramic store asked my why, I told her that I was always missing something and I needed a little reminder to help me remember what I missed.
The beauty of that little red dot is that it can stand in for just about anything: better prose, more natural dialogue, get that essay to the editor yesterday! This week, the little red dot has taken on a new meaning: schedule. I am blessed to be able to work my technical writing day job out of my house four out of five days a week. As a result, I’m in this room many, many hours. I’ll admit, too, that come the end of the work day, I am so ready to get off my butt and step away from the computer and the keyboard. Not a real conducive writing environment, that.
Like Dave on Thursday, I read Chuck Wendig’s post, “Six Signs It’s High Time to Give Up That Whole “Writing” Thing” (Hey, Chuck! Two DSD shout outs in one week!) There was a single take away from that essay: Shut up and write. The nifty thing for me was that I already was.
Taking a cue from Jeff Abbott, I started a habit five days ago: write in the morning. With summer here, my boy is not in school. In the past, when I didn’t have to get up so early, I’d allow myself a few minutes more sleep. Not so, now. I made a simple decision: maintain my wake up time from the school months and get 1,000 words done before heading “off” to the day job.
And I’ve done it, too. In this first week of summer when the mercury nears 100 every day, the mornings have been unexpectedly pleasant. So, not only have I fired up the Mac every morning a little before 7am, I’ve also pounded out my words sitting outside on my patio. I can’t tell you how fulfilling it is to have your writing for the day done by 8am—my hard cut off time since I do have to work. And, as the week progressed, I found that I, when I awoke and groggily brushed my teeth, the sentences I was to write started forming in my head. By the time I poured the coffee, I almost didn’t’ need it so thrilling was anxiousness to get to writing.
An interesting colliery: Because I have to start work at 8am, I have had the situation where I’ve had to stop in the middle of a scene. I’ve never really done that before—despite the advice from numerous sources that it’s a good idea—but found it to be a pretty cool thing the next morning. I don’t think I’ll keep that aspect of my writing, but it’s helped a couple of times.
When do you write? Are you a morning writer?