I’m so pleased to introduce you to first-time guest, Keivon Liburd! Keivon is an author, children’s pastor, and educator in Austin, Texas. Married with two boys, Keivon writes so that underrepresented kids, especially young Black boys and girls, can see themselves in every type of story imaginable. He is also the co-founder of HitPitch, a up and coming tool that matches writers to beta-readers, agents, and more!
This is a post Therese asked Keivon to write for WU after he tweeted about steps he’d taken to successfully forge the wake-early-to-write habit. With life’s lines blurring so drastically right now–working from home, working with kids at home, etc–it might be more important than ever to consider establishing an untouchable set of minutes on the daily for your writing. And we’ve heard how magic the morning hours can be, so let’s consider it!
7 Ways to Make Early Morning Writing a Reality
Early Morning? You’ve got to be kidding me? Now, I know that’s what many of you are saying, but hear me out. This can work for you. Everyone wants to finish their next novel, but talking about finishing is so much easier than actually finishing. This was my issue.
The date was December 1, 2018. I was one day removed from participating in NaNoWriMo. I started a new manuscript called Chasing Lincoln, and was really excited about this fresh endeavor. Although I didn’t hit my 50K word goal for the month, I did get to 38K or so. In my mind, I could keep pushing through and be done by December 31st or maybe late January 2019 at the latest.
***Spoiler Alert: I wasn’t done by January.
Actually I wasn’t done by March, May, or even December 2019. Sometimes, life simply gets in the way. But you know what? That’s reality for most of us. We have jobs, we have friends, we have kids, we have pets, we have a lot of life outside of writing. Yet we love writing so much!
I tried to write at night but I can’t tell you how many times my wife nudged me after seeing a trail of zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzs on my laptop. I tried writing at lunchtime, but I never got into a good flow in between bites of leftover spaghetti. December 2019 spilled into January 2020, and although I was determined to finish this book, I just couldn’t find the time.
Then I got an email from my good friend, Daron K. Roberts. He writes weekly “Life Letters” that inspire people to follow after their dreams and goals. This one was titled, “Write the Damn Book Already.” Well that got my attention. Daron writes non-fiction and said that he completed his book by getting up at 4 am every morning and going to a 24-hour coffee shop where he put pen to paper 6 days a week.
For some reason, this hit me square in the jaw. I have to get up early to get this book done. I realized that early mornings were the only times that were truly mine. A time where my family was in dreamland and I had no responsibilities. The only time where I wouldn’t fall asleep at the wheel. My only problem: I was already up way past my bedtime. At the rate I was going, I was getting to bed at 11:59pm. There was no way I could get up at 5:30… so then I thought, Maybe I can start in two days.
But everyone with a plan knows it doesn’t work like that. If you can make an excuse for one day you can make it for the next. So, I decided right then and there that I was waking up the next morning at 5:15 – no matter what. Consequences be damned. And you know what? The next day I got up, and the day after that, and the day after that.
How did I do it? I’m glad you asked because guess what? You can do it too. [Read more…]