Sometimes Writing Looks Like 5am

Photo by Riccardo Meneghini
Photo by Riccardo Meneghini

The longer I do this thing called life the more I realize I don’t know and need to learn. Recently, my learning has been around changing schedules.

Before kids, I had the luxury to sit for hours and read or write. Then I had a baby, and I couldn’t do anything alone and my precious time without another human clinging to me was limited to brief nap times (why did my boys never sleeeeep???). I had to relearn how to write.

Gone were the hours of writing. With small children, you have to write in small bursts because that is all they allow you. They are constantly in need of clean diapers, dry clothes, food, and snuggles. So needy!

Then, they got older and our schedules shifted again.

I would do the bedtime routine with my boys, then spend a couple hours writing before seeking my own pillow. It was beautiful. I wrote three books that way.

A year ago, I got a new job, one which requires longer hours and more use of my brain and emotions. By the end of the day, I am exhausted. I am done and my brain has nothing left to give. All I want is a spot on the couch, a beer or a wee dram of scotch, and whatever show Mr. R and I are binge watching (currently Tru Blood season 4).

Writing has been slow and I am trying to finish the second half of the next Turning Creek book. By slow, I mean it has not been happening much at all.

It has been hard to admit that my schedule has shifted yet again. I feel like I have to learn how to write all over again.

I have, of course, tried getting up early to write. I write best in the morning but I share my house with boys who possess a particular skill. We call it Momdar. It is a much more sophisticated version of radar. Unlike a radar, a momdar does not just detect, it thwarts whatever plans the mom has planned. No matter how early or how quiet I am when I get up, my boys know and leave their beds to join me and interrupt whatever I am doing.

Momdar has prevented me from writing in the mornings whenever I sneak into the study.

At the suggestion of Mr. Rochester, I have tried a different approach.

I leave a bean bag chair, my laptop, and my series bible in the master bathroom when I go to bed. Instead of creeping through the house to the study when my alarm goes off, I creep into my bathroom, plop down in my bean bag chair, put in my headphones, and write until 6:30.

It has worked brilliantly.

I have met people who tell me they would love to write a book, learn a new skill, or start the dream that has burning a hole in their pocket… if they only had the time.

I am here to tell you the time is now. The trick is finding the routine that works in your life right now and realizing that in 6 months, a year, or two years, your time and schedule may demand that you do things differently.

It may demand that you get up at 5am.