The 30-Day Writing & Publishing Project, Day 8: Finding a Sacred Rhythm

It’s hard to overestimate the importance of habit. Of routine.  . . . So much can be accomplished in one focused hour, especially when that hour is part of a routine, a sacred rhythm that becomes part of your daily life. 

~Dani Shapiro, Still Writing

Since committing to this daily writing & publishing project a week ago, I’ve been trying to find an hour or two early in the day in which to get the writing done. When I started out, I thought I’d get up at 6:00 am every morning and write for 1-2 hours, hit publish, then move on with the rest of my day.

That was the plan.

But what’s happened instead is, I get up at my usual time of 6:30 a.m., do my daily practice, which consists of, first, the making of the coffee, obviously, then meditation, writing in my journal, and some other personal growth practices.

I’m usually at my desk by 8:30 a.m., but I always feel like I must, must, must, knock out the client work first, then I “get to” do the daily writing afterwards. But by 5:00 or 6:00 or 7:00 pm when the work, work is out of the way, I feel creatively spent.

I write and publish to the blog anyway, but it feels like I’m not giving the writing the attention it deserves (after all, this is my craft, the thing I really want to do, do well, and get consistently better at doing). But, alas, the writing has been relegated to second-place position.

In the past, when I’ve gotten up a wee bit earlier than my usual time and written before I begin on the client projects for the day, I feel accomplished, joyous, and inspired, a feeling that carries over into the client work, making me feel more productive, efficient, and overall happier about the landscape of my work days.

This thing Dani Shapiro speaks of, “a routine, a sacred rhythm that becomes part of your daily life,” is something I’ve wanted to establish for my writing for a very long time. But I’ve tried and failed, tried and failed. The writing gets done, but as for time of day it gets done, it’s all over the place. And that makes me twitchy. I long for the calm knowing that every day at X time, I’m going to sit down at my desk and write, and I want that “X” time to be in the early a.m.

So, next week I’m going to try that practice on for size again. Writing first, client work, second. This won’t be easy since I have a big load of client deadlines next week, but hey, I’m gonna give it the old college try! (You know what popped into my head just now, writing that? The quote from Yoda in Star Wars, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”)

Then I remind myself that my current daily routine of meditation and journaling in the a.m. took me a couple of years, I’m ashamed to say, to become habit.  So if I stick with the attempt to write every morning, before the work day starts, I’ll get there eventually.

I’ll share how it goes here on the blog very soon.