I am quickly learning that writing books is not just about writing books.
There is promotion, and critically, putting in the time every day to ensure your book succeeds.
Time is the tricky part. We only have 24 hours a day, and roughly 16 hours we are awake. Everyone gets those hours, but not everyone uses them efficiently.
If you’re anything like me, time slips away. By the time the sun sets, I will have done all the things I absolutely NEEDED to do, but none of the things I WANTED to do…
Enter the morning. It’s the most important time of the day we can use for personal growth and advancing our goals.
I used to hate mornings. I would crawl out of bed like a zombie, hop in the shower, and shamble my way to my day job. By the time I got home, I wanted nothing more than to sit in front of the television. I would be exhausted. Nothing was more demoralizing to me than having the desire to write but the total lack of energy and willpower to do it.
Yet one fact remains: as a writer, every hour, every minute, counts toward advancing your goals.
My perspective changed. Radically.
I’m sure you’ve heard before that mornings are a great time to write. Like me, you may think of yourself a night person. If you could, you would sleep until 9 a.m. (or, let’s just be honest, later). But I have successfully retrained myself to hop out of bed at 5:15 a.m. or earlier. I start accomplishing things that are important to me IMMEDIATELY…and it was not as hard as I thought it would be.
So, how did I do it? I read “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast” and was convinced. I decided to give it a go. I had a total attitude change. I became a believer in the morning, because I started to see results once I embraced it.
Mornings can be the very best time to write for several reasons:
1. Once you develop the habit, you will not be groggy or tired upon waking. After a cup or two of coffee, you’ll be putting words on the page from the get-go. Imagine just how GOOD it would feel to have 1,000 words done by the time you leave for work. On weekends, how would you like to have even MORE done?
2. Early mornings are the time of day you are LEAST likely to be interrupted or distracted. You won’t be interrupted because everyone else in the house (kids included) is still sleeping. And you won’t be distracted because there is nothing going on before 8 a.m. The morning will be YOUR writing time. Even if you come home exhausted, you will have done SOMETHING to advance your writing goals that day.
3. You probably like writing. How would it feel to start your day doing something you love? I’m willing to bet you would get up quicker knowing this.
4. We have more willpower in the mornings. As we go through our day, making choices, our ability to make good decisions diminishes as our willpower drains. When we start the day, our reserve of willpower is at its maximum. You’re much more likely to do something you mean to do at the start of the day than the end of the day.
I get up at 5:15 a.m. every day or earlier. On weekends, I rise a little later. I make coffee, eat breakfast, shower, get dressed. Then, I write until 6:30, when I leave for my job. On weekends, I write until about noon. Some days I write 1,000 words. Others, less. One lucky day this week I wrote 2,000 words. On weekends, I usually write more. Last Sunday saw me writing 5,000 words before noon!
Generally, after work I’ll spend time promoting or editing. If I am completely wiped, I just watch TV or read – without the guilt – because I had already done the important part: I had sat down and met my word quota.
After starting to see success, I asked myself what was so special about the mornings. The answer is what I illustrated above: no distractions, no interruptions, and the assurance that this was MY time to write.
I’m not saying EVERYONE should use mornings. I’m a big believer in doing whatever works. But there are certain facts that you cannot get around if you are a writer: you probably have a day job, you probably are responsible for others, and there are certain things that HAVE to be done during the day. Here is another fact: there are few (if any) things that need to be done in the mornings, making it the ideal time for writing.
If you can write at night, all power to you – I just find, as a weak-willed person, I’ll usually decide to hang out with friends, go out to eat, or watch TV instead of getting anything done.
But if you are looking at your schedule and find that something is not working, then using your mornings may be the answer you are looking for. I know it was for me.
I am the author of The Wasteland Chronicles: Apocalypse, and Night of the Necromancer. The Wasteland Chronicles is a post-apocalyptic science fiction story and Night of the Necromancer is a zombie choose your own adventure novel. Both can be found on Kindle.
More about me? I discovered my love for writing as a seventh grader when I attempted to write a science fiction saga. It only got to forty words, but it was the start of an obsession. I read voraciously – anything sci-fi, horror, or fantasy, and I also had a penchant for historical fiction. I wrote in a creative writing class in high school, and found I loved to entertain my fellow students with my crazy stories.
I grew more serious about my writing in college. I majored in Professional Writing to learn as much as I could about it. I decided that I was going to make it as a writer, to do whatever it takes to get myself out there. I have the talent – I’m just at the point where I am constantly writing and trying to reach my audience.
I love to write, and will always do so. Follow me on Twitter, and especially my blog, kylewestwriter.wordpress.com, to stay updated with what I’m doing. I post often, and love to connect with both fellow authors and fans!
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