Writing strategy [2]

Last week, I got this wonderful idea to create some extra time for my writing. The plan was simple: get up at 6 o’clock every morning and write till 7. I was fully aware this was going to be a challenging endeavour. So here’s how my week turned out.


The most marvellous thing happened to me: I managed to get up at 6. Still half asleep, I turned on the computer and made some tea. At 6.15 I was fully awake with my computer running and a cup of steaming hot tea next to me. Despite the earliness I wrote two posts and managed to figure out how to incorporate a film into my blog posts. The only thing I nearly forgot was that it was Monday and that I had to go to work. My goal for Tuesday: getting up 15 minutes earlier so that I’m actually typing at six. I set another alarm to remind myself to go to work.


The success of Monday was nowhere to be found today. I went out for dinner yesterday and around 12.30 AM, my dinner decided to play up, much to my discomfort. I was up till 3 AM spending my time admiring the toilet. If I hadn’t felt so awful, I would’ve used that time to do some writing. The prospect however, of getting up at 5.45 to write wasn’t  very appealing, so I decided to skip today’s challenge.

Händel’s Messiah


Officially this is my day off, thus plenty of writing time. Today, however, I promised to help out at work till lunch.  I went to bed early and set the alarm at 6.00 again. It didn’t turn out as hoped. Despite turning in early the previous night I’m still dead tired and on top of all this, I’m coming down with a cold. Considering my Messiah performance in London – I’ve got less than a month to master it  – so I decided to put my health first. I reset my alarm to 7.30 – again, no getting up before six.


This day will always be problematic. On Thursdays I’ve got choir practice in Laren till 10 PM. The journey from Laren to The Hague is a 90 minutes by train. Getting all the rest I can get is essential for this day. Thus, again, I didn’t get up at 6. However, I did my fair part of writing on the train – which counts as far as I’m concerned.


After my choir practice I’m usually back around 11.30 PM. Last night, however, the train was delayed and instead of 11.30 PM I wasn’t home till 12.30. It was freezing – at least it felt like it – so as soon as I was home I made some tea to warm up before going to bed. In the end I fell asleep around 1.30PM. Guess how I felt this morning.


Getting up early is a life style that’s going to be a challenge and not something I can pull off easily. This week’s attempt turned out to be hopelessly unsuccessful. Looking at next week, I’m not sure it’s going to be much of an improvement. Now I have a cold which I’m desperately battling, I don’t want my throat to get sore too. But I do want to make time each day to do some writing. I just have to find a different way to accomplish this.

One way might be participating in this year’s nanowrimo. Although, my personal goal won’t be 1,000 words per day, because it’s just not realistic for me to accomplish that.

Winston Churchill



16 thoughts on “Writing strategy [2]

  1. I find I can’t function in the AM. I do all my best writing in the PM. 🙂 I used to squeeze it in on lunch breaks, subway rides, and 2 hours a night after dinner. It was a hard schedule to keep. I also can’t work out in the AM. Actually just saying AM makes me snarl.

    I applaud you for trying this brutal schedule. 🙂

  2. You’re trying to make someone else’s successful plan work for you, the old square peg in a round hole scenario. Instead, I think you should give up on the “early bird plan” and go with the “writing while commuting plan.” It seems to fit your schedule and lifestyle much better. Good luck with your performance!

    1. Absolutely true. Getting up early is something to get used to. If I’m truly want to make getting up early a part of my daily rhythm I shouldn’t quite right now. But it’s just not doable at the moment. 🙂

  3. Well, if I may add an idea – perhaps it’s time to consider investing into more mobile technology. Namely, tablets or those ultra light/slim/small notebooks. And then learning to use them. You mentioned spending an hour and a half on train – ideal to get creative, huh?
    Good luck! 🙂

    1. A notebook or tablet should indeed help me out especially in the train! Though right now for the NaNoWriMo I notice how easily I let myself reread previous paragraphs and edit them as well. A plain old paper notebook just works better for free writing. But it’s a real crime to keep my handwriting legible 🙂

      1. Good luck with that! I’d have no chance as handwriting and legibility are simply incompatible in my case! 🙂
        And you know, on second thoughts, recently I dug up an old fountain pen and it is a miracle to write with it. Downright pleasure.

  4. I’d be trying to look on the positive. Monday was a good day! Maybe that could be your early day, and other days you find time at different times of the day……

  5. Loved the day by day account – it’s clear that late nights don’t gel with early mornings, and it’s not easy to start a new habit, I think it takes more than setting the alarm to become an early riser, your whole body clock needs to adjust, but it is so tempting to reach for those hours just beyond our normal day and the feeling of accomplishment so great when you managed it. Looks like Mondays might work 🙂

    1. Yes, exactly. And I think I should accept that starting a new habit this time of year is going to be very challenging. I think I’ve found my first New Year’s Resolutions ever 🙂 (Though I believe hardly anyone follows up on those resolutions, so maybe I shouldn’t put it on that list.)

  6. I like that Churchill quote. I feel your pain. As a teacher, I have to leave for school at 6:30 AM every day, and I don’t get home until 5pm or later most days, with very little brain power left. The only time I have the mental capacity to write is before school, which means getting up at 5-5:15 every day, writing for about 30 minutes, and accepting a certain rumpled appearance as my norm. 🙂 It’s definitely a challenge!

  7. I rarely have a planned time to write. I find my time much more productive if I sit down and type whenever I feel like it. I’m doing NaNo this and posting them everyday for all to see. It’s a bit nerving to open air write, yet it’s making me keep to the task of a daily word count. So don’t worry about finding time to write. It happens when you least suspect it.

    1. I usually don’t write on fix times. But I usually think too much too about what I want to write. NaNo just makes sure I read and don’t think too much back on what I’ve written. That’s something I should do more often. It’s quite liberating. Since I’m writing mostly on paper, I can’t post it on the Nano site. It would take me an extra couple of hours to turn everything digitally. Good luck this month. About 18 days to go. Well, almost 17 here 🙂

      1. Tonight I’m relaxing with a new book thinking, “Hmm, seems I should be doing something. Papers are graded, bills are paid, laundry folded–oh my, my NaNo post!” Scamper, scamper into my cold office. Thanks, for the encouragement. I’ll take the 17 days.
        Happy pages,

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