Words on a Wednesday
That’s some moon out there, this morning. It woke me at 3:30, and I never really fell back into sleep, so when the alarm went off at 5:10, I reminded myself that today is the day I do things differently. Today is the first day of my 30 day habit change experiment, which started out as me saying I will get up and write every morning for an hour or so before the mad rush to get ready for school/work. But a closer look at my morning routine reveals an ingrained, unhealthy, time-wasting habit that’s squarely blocking the road to writing.
Every morning for the last I don’t even know how many years, I’ve gotten out of bed, made a cup of coffee (well, now chai tea, because I don’t drink coffee in the morning), and sat down at the computer where the browser window from the night before waits. I check email, answer anything pressing, then move on to Facebook, the weather, a quick look at headlines, and then Tumblr. Usually I’ll read all the way back to where I left off the night before. By the time I’m finished with all of that it’s 7:30 like it is right now, and it’s time to get my ass in gear. No real writing has occurred.
So rather than a goal of writing in the morning, I knew that my goal has to be not checking anything first thing in the morning. As a matter of fact, I need to not keep my browser windows open at all during the day either. I need to limit my email/social networking time to specific times during the day. So, I’m giving myself a half hour from 7-7:30 am, and another half hour at lunchtime, then one hour after dinner/homework/freelance work is completed at night. I had to bury my mail, FB, tumblr, and pinterest apps several layers deep on my phone so I can’t easily check every ten minutes like I’ve been doing since forever.
This morning has been a success. I got out of bed, did 40 minutes of yoga, qi gong, and meditation. Then I made my tea and sat down at the computer, but first I wrote a page in my analog journal. I’d closed the browser last night and left my memoir document open, so when I woke the computer up, I wrote 800 words about my dad, and decided a few things, and asked a few questions to answer later.
Then I read and answered email, did my quick browse of FB, checked the weather and the “news”, and then opened Tumblr. I only let myself go back five pages. Now it’s time to wake Lila up and get our asses out the door in 45 minutes. My back feels looser, my mind feels awake, yet calm, in spite of being nervous that I won’t be able to do this thing. It’s challenging to not give in to the nagging suspicion that I’m missing something important.
But, I’ve been missing out on something that’s very important - my writing. Time is flying past me now and the words are always there waiting to make it to the page. Today I got some down. Tomorrow I will get some more down and I will create this new habit and learn how to not be so enslaved to the constant distraction of the intertubes.
Wish me luck.