Yesterday, my writer buddy Deborah Batterman posted a link to this New York Times article extolling the joys of writing first thing in the morning. I have heard praise heaped on early morning writing sessions since I was a wee little baby writer with dreams of bundling up my manuscript in brown paper like Ellis Bell.* And I have tried this early morning writing thing. Sometimes I make it one day. One cranky, back-achy, why-are-you-looking-at-me-like-that day. Sometimes I make it to two. (Two is monster-ugly, and not describable in polite company.) But these early morning sessions always start the same: with the vision of a fresh, clear mind parting through the muck of tired prose, straight as an arrow to the good stuff. You know, the crap that wins you awards.
So inspired by this lovely little piece, I got my behind out of bed at 5:30 this morning, showered, dressed for work, scarfed down some breakfast, and sat at the dining table with my manuscript, a pencil, and my razor-sharp mind to work until 7am when the kids needed to get up and I needed to get on the bus into the city.
Know where I got in my manuscript? Page 5. FIVE.
Five pages of thoughtful editing isn’t bad. But somehow I had expected more. Ten maybe. Especially since it’s now 7:30pm and I’m basically a zombie. All for a half hour less sleep. Clearly this girl needs her six hours minimum. And obviously, I’m not a morning writer.
[*Kudos to anyone who knows who Ellis Bell is without looking it up on the Interwebs.]