Waking Up is an Art Form




Telling myself that I needed to refine and stick to my writing schedule was certainly easier said than done. After all, the-night-before-me was completely awake, completely coherent, and one hundred percent dedicated to getting shit done.

Morning me, however, finds the cozy confines of bed and blankets far more alluring than the desk and computer screen—that even on 0% brightness and nighttime settings, still manages to assault my freshly-woken eyes. Sleeping just a little more, clinging to the edges of unconsciousness, is what I grapple with as the responsible part of my brain nudges me first reluctantly from my pillow, then to sit.

Another blink as the light floods brightly into my room from the window my partner forgot to close.

As I walk from my room to my office, I sometimes wonder if we’ve set ourselves up for unrealistic expectations of what actual writing routines and rituals look like. Plopping myself into the computer chair that never wants to stay at the level I set it at and opening my notebook to a page as I’m serenaded so serenely by the brawling cats below my apartment, seems nothing of the vision that I’m shown when browsing those aesthetically pleasing writer Instagrams. More often than not, when I sit down to get my morning writing out and start my day, I haven’t even bothered to put on a pair of pants, let alone make a cup of latte-art-coffee (though I applaud the people who know how to do that, because I sure as hell do not.) My notebook is far from a weather-worn traveler’s notebook of finely embossed leather and—as of about five minutes ago when I drafted this post—I’m not writing my prose with a fountain pen, but rather a common Bic.

It gets the job done.

In getting myself through my writing paces, I’ve learned that the magic isn’t in how prettily you get your writing and your routine down, but in the simple fact that you’re getting it down at all.

Camp NaNo 2019

I’ve never successfully finished a NaNo project–not a camp, not a full-fledged NaNoWriMo. I’m one of those people that habitually committed to the event at different points in the last six years or so, with every intention of participating in some way, only to stop halfway (or sooner) through. I’ve gone in with all the good intentions, with so much motivation and steam and yet every time, I found myself deciding that I just wasn’t going to do it anymore and my habits outside of NaNo didn’t do me any favors. It seemed evident that unfinished work would be my legacy: dozens of scribbled ideas never brought to fruition, projects and WIPs that I would start and never complete, the tens of Google Docs and One Drive files and half-used notebooks with plots that lay abandoned right beside my ability to see them through.

This pattern outside of non-NaNo projects bled into them, and one day I decided to not bother with doing NaNoWriMo at all. After all, if I couldn’t finish a month challenge where I was literally able to set my own goals, how would I ever be able to finish a real NaNoWriMo?

How would I be able to finish a whole project outside of the one month, 50,000 word goal when I hadn’t so far?

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