Tag Archives: Productivity

6AM Writing Challenge – Week Three

23 Nov

I am quite possibly the first 20-something to have done gardening at 8AM on a Sunday…in November. I laughed as, covered from head to toe in several layers of warm clothes, I pulled out weeds from our small patch of grass – how many people in my neighbourhood were even awake at this time on their day off? Let alone doing something active, let alone doing something outside, let alone – gardening at 8AM!

The past week of my 6AM Writing Challenge has brought some surprises. On some days, waking up at 6AM brought me a bundle of energy which made me very productive and very optimistic. Other days, waking up at 6AM meant that by mid-day all I wanted was to go back to bed and screw the rest of the working day, which was barely just beginning. And, of course, there were days when I was awake for so long (twenty hours) that I simply didn’t manage to get up at 6AM the next day.

girl stretching in bedroom morning

However, no matter what time I woke up, I still wrote for an hour before starting my day. And this has made me realise that only doing something I love could make me accomplish things I never thought I could accomplish. For example, while working as a freelance editor from home last year, I never managed to wake up at a reasonable time. And I never managed to motivate myself to do it, no matter how much I persuaded myself to ‘wake up earlier tomorrow’. Why? Because my work didn’t inspire me or fill me with joy or even interest me enough to be of more importance than a few extra hours in a warm bed.

But writing is. Because it has been the only thing that has motivated me to get up in the cold and dark for the past three weeks.

So what do I write about while most of the people I know are still sleeping? I have mostly been writing Morning Pages, because it is still difficult for me to get my brain or creativity going so early in the morning. However, I hope that as soon as the habit sets in, I will be able to move on to writing something that requires more concentration and effort.

One more week left of the 6AM Writing Challenge, and this week I am determined to not make any exceptions to waking up at 6AM every day.

Today’s sunrise

The 6AM Writing Challenge

1 Nov

Today, I wake up earlier than the neighbours, earlier than the sun and even earlier than the birds. It’s dark outside and cold inside, but I’m smiling. This is the first day of my 6AM Writing Challenge and so far I am doing well.

November is known by aspiring writers as National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), in which writers can take part in a challenge to write a novel (50, 000 words) in one month. I had thought about taking part in NaNoWriMo, but decided against it. My main reasons for taking part would have been to develop a daily writing practice and to prove to myself that I can write a whole novel in a month if I put my mind to it. However, I already developed a daily writing practice with the help of the 120 day “Do What You Love” Challenge, and my main ideas for a novel require a lot of research and planning: it would be a waste of time to start without the necessary information, and a shame to rush through something that requires more attention.

Although I decided not to participate in NaNoWriMo, I still felt that I needed a writing challenge for November, and what I needed the most was time to write. Up until now, I would write for fifteen minutes right at the end of the day, and would not set aside quality time for writing, even though my schedule allows for a couple of hours of ‘free time’.  I therefore decided to make use of these hours for writing, but the only way of fitting in these hours into the day was by…waking up earlier.

So here I am, scribbling away as the neighbourhood and nature sleep. For the whole month of November I will be waking up at 6AM to do one hour of writing before starting the day. The 6AM Writing Challenge won’t be easy (I love sleeping!), but it is the only way for me to fit writing into my day.

Whichever creative challenge you are participating in this month – be it NaNoWriMo or your own personal challenge – I wish you all the best of luck and look forward to finding out how you are getting on!