Post by Jenny
For the past two years, my boys have attended different schools, with different starting and ending times. My older son would go an hour earlier and get out an hour earlier. My younger son would go an hour later and get out an hour…well, later. But this year, they’re in the same school, which makes for fewer chauffer trips—which is nice—and has given me an extra hour in my morning—which is doubly nice.
In August and September, when the weather was at its seasonal best before noon, I would often spend that hour outside pretending that I am not the worst gardener in my neighborhood. But the mornings are colder now, and darker. As far as I’m concerned, the growing season is over, which (sorry, you green thumbs who are already anticipating next year’s seed catalogues) is rather a relief for me.
Last week, I officially claimed my bonus hour as writing time. From 8 until 9 in the a.m., I made myself unavailable for all forms of non-emergency communication, including but not limited to: text messaging, email, snail mail, phone calls (land and cell), twitter, smoke signals, telepathy, receiving satellite radio through my dental fillings, sign language, body language, Morse code, maritime signal flags, and tin cans tied together with string.
It was just me and my computer and my dog. And that writing hour quickly became the best hour of (the alone part of) my day. What’s more, I discovered that scheduling this time in the morning (as opposed to night, when all I want to do is nibble something crunchy and watch The Daily Show) set the tone for the rest of the day. When I had five minutes before the laundry finished, I went to my computer. When I had ten minutes before leaving to pick up my boys, I went to my computer. When I wanted to procrastinate ironing my socks (which I don’t actually do) or polishing my Emmy Awards (which I don’t actually have), I went to my computer.
By making this commitment, I feel more engaged in writing than I have in a long time. That is the power of an hour.
What is your best writing time, and are you able to schedule it regularly?