Sunday, June 27, 2010

How to Make the Most of Your Morning Writing Sessions

We've already discussed why early morning is the best time of day to write. Here are some solutions to fend off distractions so you can make the most of your writing sessions:

1) Defer email until after you've finished writing
It's an irresistible urge to check email first thing in the morning. But it steals time, attention and focus from the most important thing--your writing. You might find it helpful to think of email as a reward for after your writing session: this gives you an extra incentive to start writing immediately, and you won't squander your thinking on the emails you saw or the replies you need to write. That's the kind of distraction that can cost you your best writing ideas.

2) Hold off on the news and blogs
Just like email, news and blogs (even this one) are pernicious sources of distraction. Even a stray glance at a few headlines can steal precious attention away from your intended writing task. That's a high cost for something you can easily check after you finish your writing session. Don't worry, I guarantee you won't miss anything important.

3) Combine your AM writing session with other enjoyable morning rituals
Do you love a big cup of coffee or tea in the morning? Then have one while you're writing. Do you enjoy a healthy breakfast or a delicious smoothie in the morning? Make one, and slowly eat it while you work on your writing task. When you combine your writing with something you love, you'll find greater pleasure in both.

4) Prep the night before
It's often difficult to start right in on a writing task with nothing more than a blank screen staring at you. Try jotting down your topic along with a few supporting bullet points the night before. You'll get the benefit of having ideas percolating in your mind overnight, and that can often drive enormous inspiration the next morning.

What do you do to make your morning writing sessions more effective?