Developing Creative Discipline – part 2

June 17, 2020
Bob Eckhard

Hi all,

A few weeks ago I watched a Royal Television Society online interview with Sally Wainwright which was really interesting. Among the many questions about her thoughts on past and present projects, one question drew my interest of this prolific writer – namely her answers to How she writes? Where and when? Routines? etc?

In short – and here I am hoping I remember it right  – yes, she does have a routine place in which she works and (here’s the killer!) rises at 5am every day before anyone is up so that she can write solidly without being disturbed.

Now, at this point, I am imaging an audible gasp from the collective majority who will be baulking at the idea of rising so early to write continuously for 4+ hours – for as many will claim , it’s not for everyone!

However, as I was thinking about this, I was reminded of a christian illustration about a host of a dinner party who while explaining to his guests how he kept falling asleep when rising early for prayer was told:

‘It’s not a case that you can’t rise early so much as that you refuse to discipline yourself to going to bed earlier!’

I love this challenge as it puts the onus squarely back on us as to how serious we are about problem solving how and when we find time to write.

Of course, I’d love to be able to say here that after the session with Sally Wainwright I got up at 5am for the next two months but alas – it was not to be! HOWEVER, I have since started going to bed earlier and now I find myself rising earlier in the day to write  – usually between 6 and 7.

All of which means that change is possible and will happen when we take steps to create opportunities to write at a time of the day that suits our body clock. ( And here, I recognise that not everyone is a morning person  which requires a different a set of adjustments to clear the decks in the evening)

Wherever you are in your quest to become a better writer -know this:  if you’re serious about writing, you need to understand yourself and the way you work so that you can learn when it’s the best time to write but also how to maximise what you can get done in a day, All the best!

Til next week…

ps if you missed last week’s post, find out about my useful magnetic board for keeping you true to the things you do in a day by clicking here



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