Mornings: Or, Being Inconsistently Awesome at Life
Because of my day job, it's hard for me to get an uninterrupted stretch of time to write during the week. I work from 8:30 to 5, and by the time I've gotten home and cooked and eaten and caught up with the husband a bit, it's nearly 7 and, to be honest, by that time of night, I don't have the critical thinking skills left to write a grocery list, let alone work on a novel.
So I'm a morning writer, even though the thought of getting up early makes me want to tie someone's shoelaces together when they aren't looking. Because of this, getting up early doesn't always work. There are good mornings and bad mornings. The ratio of bad mornings to good mornings? Roughly 5:1. Observe:
Good Writing Morning:
5:00 Get out of bed without killing myself stumbling over things in the dark and without waking up the husband.
5:05 Shower while coffee is brewing. (This is called efficiency. I read about it.)
5:15 Eat standing up at the sink while I consider what music I want to listen to and how I'll get through the next scene.
5:20 Brush teeth and hair while I remember where my iPod is. Get dressed.
5:25 Get coffee. Sit down, boot computer. Resist the call of the internet. Start re-reading. Yesterday's scene went reasonably well. Only small changes are needed.
5:30-8:10 Work. Then successfully save the work.
8:10 Put lunch in bag, kiss husband good-bye.
8:15 Go to work. Show up on time. Be stellar employee. Succeed at life. Win an award for awesomeness. Book will get one too, probably. It's just that good.
Bad Writing Morning:
It's 5:30. Overslept. Yawn. Time to write. Oh, internet! No, focus. No, email! Wow, someone took my comment on Cracked.com very seriously.
5:45 Okay, open the manuscript already.
5:46 Feet are cold. Need socks. Try not to wake up husband. Sort of succeed.
5:48 Lips are seriously chapped. What was I doing in my sleep? Don't answer that. Need Chapstick.
5:50 It's eerily silent in this office. Remember that my iPod is in the living room, and I'm not getting up again. Open Spotify. Find something that suits the mood of what I'm working on.
6:00 With the Moon Soundtrack playing in the background, re-read the last few pages to get back into the voice/plot/rhythm. Stop for twenty minutes to correct typos, fix sentences that bug me, alter the order of paragraphs, etc.
6:21 Realize I'm without coffee. WTF!
6:27 Caffeinated, I'm back at work. Oops, restart Moon, because I missed my favorite track while I was in the kitchen. Goddamn you, Home Depot. Your commercials are messing with my flow! Although I kind of want to paint my living room now.
6:30 Getting actual work done, but stop to do some basic time management. I have to be at work at 8:30. It's a ten minute drive, but I usually budget fifteen, because there is a garbage truck that runs along the street about that time on seemingly random days, and it often feels the need to block traffic while emptying the Dairy Queen dumpster.
If I ponytail it yet again, hair takes two minutes, and I did laundry this weekend so the hunt for clean clothes will be brief--three minutes. Cereal is a four-minute affair. And showering only takes five minutes if I skip shaving my legs. Make-up will be five minutes. So what have we discovered? Mostly that there's too much math in this story problem, but also that starting to get ready at 7:30 will ensure that I don't look any more homeless than usual and I'm not likely to be late. And I have to pee.
6:35 That was some good peeing. I even washed my hands. You're welcome.
6:36 Restart Moon again. God, it's like Clint Mansell put that track in exactly the right spot to screw with me. Bastard.
6:55 Okay, that's two pages of new material. They aren't going to win any awards, but they aren't inept, either. I'm patting myself on the back for a job mediocre-ly done. Hungry now. Probably can't wait any longer to eat or will turn into a gorilla-thing and tear the kitchen apart. Remedy? Froot Loops. And as a rare concession to adulthood, I use skim milk.
7:08 Back at the desk. So tired of Moon. Have to figure something else out.
7:17 I've now listened to Thom Yorke's "Hearing Damage" from the Twilight: New Moon soundtrack three times. I have officially decided that "How to Disappear Completely" is better. Back to work.
7:20 I'm kind of tired of my desktop picture. Maybe fewer deer next time. I should look into that. But not right now, because I'm a very serious writer at the moment.
7:21 A little bit of Froot Loop caught in my teeth. That would've been embarrassing later.
7:22 As much as the Twilight: New Moon soundtrack epitomizes teenage angst and has some good stuff, it turns out that it's shitty to write anything but a melodramatic love scene to. Need something else. Going for something new. The "Aliens" score.
7:25 Now I'm in it. Leave me alone.
7:50 Seriously, leave me alone. It's flying.
7:56 Shut up, husband. Yes, you are still required to love me if I'm the stinky kid at work who doesn't shower because I'd rather spend that time working on this scene.
8:00 All right. Fine. I'll get ready. Jesus. Just let me save this.
8:10 HUSBAND! Fix it! I don't know, I didn't do anything to it! I put the effing memory stick in the same effing way I always effing do. No, I'm not mad at you, I'm mad at the bastard who invented technology. Oh, God, please, just fix it that scene was good it was more than good it was amazing I can't believe it might be gone, oh, God, just make it work!
8:15 Yes! I love you! I'd kiss you but I'm going to work in my jimjams unless I go NOW.
8:25 Fly out of the house with my hair unbrushed, my teeth haphazardly minty fresh, my lunch still in the fridge, and my shoes untied. Get to work ten minutes late. Am a failure at life.
Also, it turns out that scene wasn't amazing. The next morning I spent twenty minutes rewriting it.