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Genesis of a Historical Novel

Thursday, May 24, 2007

tricks for getting out of bed

Just as in personal finance the advice is, "pay yourself first," meaning that whenever you have income, you should set aside a predetermined amount for your own savings before you start paying your bills, so in my own writing life: first thing each day I like to do something to push ahead my own project, even if I have work for others to do. Among other things, this sends the right message to one's unconscious, or one's guardian angel, or one's "acorn", and to anyone else who may be concerned: it's an acknowledgment that you understand what your mission is, and you are putting it first.

Plus, it makes it easier to get out of bed at some unreasonable time in order to get at it. For me, this morning, I rolled out just after 6:00, having woken at 3:38 and lain awake for the following hour and a half or so. By 5:30 I was asleep, but that's when the alarm goes off, and it's showtime.

I have considered trying to push ahead my actual writing--the prose itself--in my early-morning block, over coffee, but have so far been too scared and not up for it. In the past I have managed that a few times. But that too might make it hard to get out of bed. Instead, I lure myself off the mattress and down the stairs with the thought of easing into my day by keying research notes--easy, fairly interesting work (for awhile) that creates a definite sense of productivity. As a typist (as opposed to as a writer) you have a nice, steady, measurable output, which is also a gratifying message to send oneself.

But now my second mug of coffee is almost drained. Soon, soon it will be time to pick up tools and press forward with paid work. In fact, I might as well get at it. I've got lots to do, and the weekend is racing toward me...

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