Every day, of course.
Yeah, all right. But when?
I am having an absolute REVOLUTION around when I write. It is ridiculously, painfully obvious. Only, you know, I’ve never thought of it before.
But before I tell you what it is, a tiny bit of backstory.
Before I had kids, I got up, I made a perfect latte in my fantabulous espresso machine, leisurely checked my email, surfed a bit, and eased into writing around 9am. I wrote until lunch, then went to my paying job in the afternoon. Let’s all take a moment now to appreciate the ease and grace of that long dead schedule.
Once I had kids, everything changed. Constantly. With one baby, I could write when she took a nap. Then I had two babies, and their nap times somehow never synchronized—of course not. And although I was able to get an hour of childcare here or there over the course of a week, it was nothing like the daily progress I made pre-mommyhood.
But I knew I absolutely couldn’t write while I was On Duty. Wherever my mind has to go to write is far away from here, and it functions VERY poorly when interrupted. So, I had to write when they were asleep. What did I do? I ditched the naps—comically keeping these poor children awake at times when they really wanted to sleep. How they have suffered for my art! But keeping them awake and playing and happy during the day (and hey, no more battles over nap time, hooray!) meant they slept near to twelve hours a night! Together! Woo hoo! So I started writing at night. Late at night. After everyone was asleep.
Fast forward several years.
They are staying up later and later. I’m sitting down to work later and later. Now I’m comically trying to remember my name, much less my character’s names, and not getting much done. Time to do the shuffle again.
The other day I read this lovely guest blog post by Jeff Abbott, wherein he mentions getting up at 4 am to write before work.
Now, duh, I’ve given thought to the whole get up early and write thing before. But also duh, have you seen me in the morning? I’m a zombie, I’m worse than a zombie, my children make fun of how disoriented I am, how grumpy, how stupid I am when I first wake up. Whenever they see a funny looking one-eyed monster stumbling around on some tv show, they laugh and point and say, “Hey, Mom, it’s you when you first wake up! I bet he hasn’t had his coffee yet!”
Oh, har har.
So I always pretty much dismissed the get-up-early tactic as impossible for my particular constitution.
But the late night thing has really not been working either. Something has got to give. And then I read that post and somehow it just… clicked.
The next morning, around 5am, when one of the kids kicked me awake, as they are wont to do, instead of rolling back over into sleep, as any sane person would do, I got up. I snuck out of the yurt and over to the Noah House with my laptop. And I got a 1000 words down before heading back to the yurt to make breakfast.
I don’t know why it worked. My brain was able to slip into the story and get the job done. It was fun even. No one interrupted. It was quiet. Surprise! I LOVED IT.
And then this: all day that day I had the oddest sensation—I felt FREE. I would habitually think the loop of thoughts I have thought a hundred times a day for years, when will I write today, how will I make it happen, I have to get this or that done, I have to manage my family so that I will be able to slip away for a bit before I collapse from exhaustion—but WAIT. I’ve already written today!!! I can do whatever the hell I want!!!! I don’t have to manage anybody!!
The next day, a repeat.
And the next day.
Holy shite! I had NO IDEA how much stress I had been carrying about when I was going to get to write each day! And how much GUILT when I didn’t manage to pull it off. Writing first thing in the morning, I’m free to play, stress-free all the rest of the day, knowing I’ve gotten that Very Important Thing done already.
I can’t TELL you how relieving this is!
And yeah, see how incredibly obvious this is? Sorry about that. But really, my whole life feels shaken and stirred, invigorated with new fun and freedom, liberated from a thousand pounds of stress I hadn’t even known I was carrying. It’s so incredibly simple. Write every day, yeah. BUt do the writing FIRST THING. Before breakfast.
Trust me. It’s FANTASTIC.
Buy my books!
Children of the Fallen, now available on Amazon.
The haunted and talented children of the glorious and terrifying...
Toby Streams the Universe at amazon.
A psychic in the big city, trying to stay sane....
The Violin Maker's Wife at amazon.
Enchanted violins can be deadly....
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coming next: The Lucidity EffectLucidity is now with the editor, woo hoo!
today's yoga practice
upcoming book releases
a few greatest hits
- crafts for karma
- welcome to mayaland's virtual macabre crawfish feast of death!
- unexpected benefit of living in a round house #27
- lucille ball moment
- the incredible hulk invades the yurt
- the source of my power
- the 13 year visitation of the demon red-eyed cicada
- flying kids
- triple chocolate pudding goop, or, this way lies madness
- bad things come in threes. or fours. (or maybe fives?)
- diggers watch tv, too
- remains of the play
- the way of the bento
- the power of mom’s day can melt even the most bitter of hearts, not that my heart is bitter, but it has gotten a bit crusty around the edges
- yurts: the downside
- recycling other people's junk
- living the tie-dyed life
- the TOOL shed
- bikini power vs. the ratty sweater
- happy birthday, sophie!
- "Dusi's Wings" April, 2003. . . . "One thing fantasy can do for us is to give shape to the mysterious in the world; another is to make emotional yearning concrete. The early sections of "Dusi's Wings" do just that...there was a strong grasping towards the spiritual in fantasy here that was very promising, and I look forward to reading more by Lassiter." --review, Tangent Online.
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- maya on strawberry fest 2013!