Friday, January 17, 2014

Getting Up Early to Write

I have been eagerly following Historiann's attempt to finish her current book project.  In her recent installment, she shares the pros and cons of getting up at 4 a.m. to write. Here is a taste:

The main reason I didn’t finish all six chapters is that I pooped out after about five weeks of very steady writing and engagement.  I caught a cold in early October, went to a conference, and then midterm papers and exams came in.  In early November I had a trip out of town, and then it was Thanksgiving and I caught another cold, and that’s where October and November went.  And then December, with final exams and papers and grading, not to mention the rest of the holidays and family visiting?  You can imagine

Biggest lesson learned?  The 4 to 6 a.m. writing experiment is a great thing to do for two weeks or a month at a time, but expecting to keep up that schedule amidst the demands of my day job was unrealistic.  I should have realized this when I started getting up at 4 a.m. and ended up spending two hours just answering emails and reading the news.  Even with going to bed at 9 p.m., I got pretty run down.  However, I’ve resumed the early morning work this week and will probably keep it up through next week too.

Read more here.

I appreciate Historiann's honesty.  Her experience reflects my own.  I try to get in a few hours of writing or research in the mornings before I head off to the office to teach and assume my role as a department chair.  It is not always easy.   This week I have been up early trying to churn out the final report (40,000 words) for my consulting work for the First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth, NJ.  Stay tuned.