I should start this post by saying that I'm completely and whole-heartedly a morning person. I wake up early, wide awake, usually in a good mood and ready to start my day. Obviously everyone's not like that (I'm married to a night owl!), but I want to talk about what works for me.
When I first moved to the UK, my job didn't start until 9. After years of teaching (and years of early starts), it was luxurious. So I used my extra time in the morning to write.
I'm not working anymore, but I've continued the same routine. Every morning, first thing, I write for an hour. I always do my best and most creative work then; when I'm completely stuck on something I'll even save it for the next morning.
After my hour is up, I'll have breakfast, get dressed, and spend some time checking the news, email, Twitter, etc, before I go back to work for a few more hours.
Except lately my routine hasn't been quite like that. Life's been busy, and I've been waiting on a lot of things, so I've been letting myself check my email before I start writing.
I kept telling myself it was okay. I was impatient, I couldn't focus on my writing until I checked.
Except I wasn't focusing on my writing after I checked email, either. If a message was important, I'd respond right away, and that took time. But sometimes even messages that weren't important would get stuck in my head. Good things, bad things, sad things, all jumbled up, stressing me out, taking away from my best time for writing.
And of course, once I gave myself permission to check email, I started checking Twitter and blog stats, too. And anytime there was a pause in my writing I would check again.
I was getting less and less done in the morning.
So finally this past week I told myself enough. The rule is that I can turn on the internet only after I've written for an hour.
Strangely, I've gotten a LOT done the past few days.
What's your writing routine? What distracts you from it?
*The picture is mine; sunset (unfortunately not a sunrise!) in Cairns, Australia