Making time to write

pocket-watches-436567_1280A lot is made of morning routines and the importance of setting yourself up for the day. A quick google search for ‘writing routines’ brings up more than 40 million results, many of which talk about the importance of writing when the world is still. For some that may be early morning, for others writing into the night might work better. Personally I think that when it comes to daily routines (for anything, not just writing) whatever works, works and that may change over time as our lives and responsibilities change.

Life changes the way we write

Before I had my son, I’d write whenever the muse struck. Sometimes that would be at 3am, when I’d wake up from a dream with a thought I couldn’t shake off. It could be at the bus stop when an overheard conversation sparked an idea or it could be straight after a swim (I often have my most creative thoughts when water is involved). Then, my son was born and it became harder to whip out my phone or a notebook whenever I wanted. When he was little I wrote when he napped (whenever that might be). Now, when I’m not coaching, I’m writing all day while he’s at school. So I take what time I can. When I’m writing for clients I do my research during the day but actual writing usually takes place either right at the start of my working day before I even open my emails (I try to avoid opening my emails before lunch if I can. I can lose half the day otherwise!), or into the night once my son is asleep. But what about the writing that’s just for me, the almost therapeutic purging that leads to my more creative pieces, and often forms the bones of most of my poetry..?

Well, I became a morning person (most days. I still have my off days, when I don’t force it). On a usual weekday, I rise before my son, before birdsong even, to make time and space for me, to meditate, to write and to be.

It’s 5.30am and I’m at my desk. If you had told me five years ago I’d willingly get up before 6am I would have struggled to believe you but here I am.

The birds are not yet singing but if I listen very carefully I can hear the distant hum of other early risers. Mostly cars already on their way to work. Not on our street though. Before 6am when my husband wakes up, it’s just me and the silence, until I fire up my laptop and add the tap of the keyboard to my morning music.”

You can read more of the above essay, Before Birdsong, about my morning writing-as- self-care routine over on literary magazine Raising Mothers.

How about you? Are you a morning person? Whatever your day involves, whether you’re a writer yourself, running your own small business or a busy parent (or all three!), do you have any routines that you try to stick to, that make a positive difference to your day? How do you make time and space for what’s important to you..? Do share your thoughts in the comments below!

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6 thoughts on “Making time to write

  1. I try to write in the mornings, too. When my husband is home I disappear upstairs for an hour after breakfast to write It’s been working for a while now. But when he’s way for work (a week out of every 4 or 5) I don’t get any writing in! Trying to think of a way to remedy that…my kids are up between 5 and 6, there’s no way I’m getting up at 4 am to write!!

    • Wow that is early! Yes, when my son used to be up at 5am no way was I up before him! He used to nap then so I used that time, or wrote late at night instead. We find the time we can, right? πŸ™‚

  2. I think I became a morning person to find more time for myself. I start the day at 6:00 with yoga and meditation. Writing is easiest straight after my family has left or in the evening, when I am less likely to be disturbed. Book writing time, which I like to be longer, is harder to find than time for let’s say a blog post, I find.
    Great post and love the photo! xx

    • Thanks! I know what you mean – a lot of it is as much about finding time for ourselves isn’t it? It really changes my day if my son gets up before I’ve had that time… As for the image, yes I love it! I get a lot of my images from Pixabay (where I found this) or Barn Images – great resources… But I know you don’t need them as your images are all amazing. πŸ™‚

    • Lol! I’m not great in the afternoon either but seem to get a second wind at night… Providing my son’s bedtime goes smoothly! πŸ˜‰

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