Sound the Halfway Point Klaxon!!
Now that we’ve all got a lovely Bon Jovi inspired earworm, it’s time to take stock and consider how AcWriMo is going. Week 2 is over and Week 3 has begun. What have you achieved so far? What’s been your highlights and lowlights?
For me, Week 2 was about trying a new routine. I knew I had a lot to do in a short space of time. And I knew that I liked to write in the morning. So each morning last week I got up at 6.15am and got in to work somewhere between 7.30am and 7.50am. I wrote my 500 words, had a cup of tea and then had some breakfast. It worked incredibly well. At 9am I was at my desk ready to get on with whatever else I had to do, comforted in the knowledge that I had ‘done’ my AcWriMo for the day.
If anyone had suggested to me a month ago that I would be getting up a 6.15am each day, I would have done a special kind of snort-laugh. I am not a morning person. Especially in this delightfully cold, windy and wet weather that we are having here in the North East of England.
It’s kind of okay if you’re getting up early to work in your own house. Nice warm study or kitchen? Great! But going out in the dark, to wait for slightly smelly public transport in torrential rain…? That’s a treat I’m usually quite happy to miss out on.
But once I’d done it a couple of times, it didn’t seem so bad. In fact, the upshot was that my 500 words were always done and dusted by 9am so I started the day in a really positive frame of mind. It was a little bit of ‘me time’ that I enjoyed. And as Susan Zakaib says in this wonderful blog post, you have to prioritise enjoying your writing.
Will it work for everyone? And is it sustainable?
I recognise that I am incredibly lucky that I don’t have anyone or anything that needs my attention in the morning. I have no children, my partner can look after himself and we share pet duties. I have wondered how my morning routine would be affected if this wasn’t the case. And the answer to that came very recently when I had a family ‘locked out of house in middle of night’ emergency, and I ended up driving round the empty streets in the dark to collect an unexpected guest. Said guest needed feeding and watering that night and the next morning. I wasn’t able to just go ‘sorry, it’s AcWriMo and I really like writing in the early morning so I’m heading off now’.
I’m also conscious that getting up every morning at 6.15am to write will, inevitably, take its toll. There needs to be a balance between getting things done and looking after yourself. So this early morning malarky probably isn’t sustainable, but it’s shown me that it is possible to stick to a routine – even if it’s just for a week. An unpleasant, leaf-mush-mixed-with-cat-poo walk to a train that doesn’t always turn up on time can become a beautifully crisp, head clearing trip to writing town.
I’m looking forward to week 3. It’s the week that I’m going to finish ‘the thing I’ve been putting off’. I’ll let you know how that goes in due course.
Have you found yourself settling into an AcWriMo induced routine? What works for you?