I am not a morning person. I have always aspired to be a morning person, the idea that being a morning person is to be a better person having been ingrained in me from a very young age. After years of trying (kind of) and failing to be bright eyed and productive any time before 9am, I really should just give up and accept my status as a classic night owl. However, in embarking on the Slice of Life challenge, I am glamoured by the idea of the committed morning writer: rising each day before the sun, feeling super energised by a round of 20 or so sun salutations, grasping a mug of warm water with lemon, gazing placidly out the window at the morning mist and the sketch of tree branches on the dawn horizon, before turning to my computer with transcendent inspiration to just… write…!
Morning writers use the morning because no one else is around to need them or disturb them. They are responsibly refreshed from 7ish hours of sleep. They are process oriented – they don’t wait for “inspiration” to strike, they just put. in. the. work. They complete their writing and then attend to the rest of their lives. They have full lives and they are good at all of it. Morning writers CAN have it all!
My mythology of the productive morning writer also goes hand-in-hand with efficiency; the idea of precious, stolen 20 minute chunks offered on the alter of writer’s craft, before the world sweeps in with responsibilities and chores. Meanwhile, I spent a whole 5 minutes propping my head up while I one-finger typed “synonym fro awesome” into Google. To be honest, my first paragraph took me, like, an hour and 15 minutes to bang out because I was so sleepy that I kept forgetting what I was doing in the middle of writing a sentence. Oooh! I just did it again.
I doubt a pre-dawn writing schedule will end up being a sustainable creative framework for me, but I can’t help but love the idea of it. I know it’s because I’m worried I won’t be able to keep this writing challenge up. I really enjoy writing, but there were so many other things I have enjoyed that I’ve let slip away because
responsibilities bad habits have crowded them out. In essence, I am looking for a special magic time, a 25th hour, untouchable and secret, never allowing life to interfere with its purpose. Perhaps that’s why I’ve drawn my morning writer as such an ascetic – I believe I need time that is sacred.
My husband will occasionally politely suggest that I overdo it with the level of commitment to my duties. If I take the dogs for a walk it’s an hour long jaunt, when 20 minutes around the block would do. If I clean the kitchen, being tidy isn’t enough – it has to be spotless. I set up a new savings account and I immediately want to save the largest amount possible, leaving no room for extras. Can’t just cut down on snacks and work out a little – I have to go full vegan and start running 10ks. I begin a writing challenge and I think I have to start typing every morning at 5:30am. None of these things are sustainable and so I get discouraged and quit.
I am struggling to write a good conclusion paragraph here, and I feel the need to wrap this up. Basically I crave and fear the discipline I need to engage with this challenge. I need to set myself some limits and remind myself that “publish” does not mean perfect.