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Simple Manifesto #54 – Create a morning writing ritual


This is part of our series on The Simple Living Manifesto. We invite you to join us on the journey.

The 54th idea in the manifesto is:

Create a morning writing ritual. If you enjoy writing, like I do, make it a peaceful, productive ritual. Article here.

Morning view

Morning fog covers the mountain top after a night in 'the bush' in Nigeria | Photo by Jonathan Blundell

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I tend to be a night owl.

I’ve often made the case (both in speech and in practice) that my most creative time is after I get my second wind in the evening — usually around 9-10 p.m.

After that, the creative juices seem to really flow.

So writing in the morning seems a bit backwards to me.

However, writing in the morning tends to be far more productive to me.

It’s one of the few times during the day when I have minimal distractions and I’m usually on a tight deadline.

And it’s a serious deadline. If I’m not out the door by a certain time, a certain employer will likely come calling.

And to be totally honest, while my creative juices may flow in the evening, it’s also a point when I’m likely to get distracted. My thoughts tend to be a bit more scattered and I’m more likely to type a sentence, go surf the web for 20-minutes for “research.” Come back and type another sentence, check in on Twitter, etc.

I found this true when I was working at the newspaper and later when I was working on my novel.

I could write long prose about a city council meeting at 2 a.m. but if I wanted to get it done, throw me in the newsroom at 6 a.m. with an 8 a.m. deadline and I’d have that story whipped out in no time.

In fact, to put this idea further to the test, I’m writing this in the morning with my coffee and freshly toasted bagel at my side.

In just under 10 minutes, I’ve hammered out 300 words so far.

Sometimes that sense of urgency is what we need to give us a good kick in the tail.

But perhaps creative writing isn’t your cup of tea in the morning — that’s fine — but I still urge you to find time at some point during the day to put your thoughts down in some form.

Whether it’s journaling, blogging, writing the book you’ve said you’d write for years, writing your mom to tell her you love her, or just pulling out a notepad and writing the first thing that comes to mind — find time to write.

Turn off all distractions (another mental note to myself – while my phone is alerting me to a new text message nearby) and just start writing.

It doesn’t even have to be good — just get your thoughts down in some form. You can always go back and spend hours stressing over the editing.

You’ll be glad you did.

Want some more ideas about what you could write/blog about? Read this.

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June 4th, 2010


4 to “Simple Manifesto #54 – Create a morning writing ritual”

  1. csimiriglia says:

    Morning rituals are great, but first you need to be able to get up early. This might be helpful:

  2. Bill Gerlach says:

    Totally agree. Mornings are best (for me) because I’ve slept off any distracting “residue” from the previous day. I try to get up an hour or so before the rest of the family, brew some coffee and let the moment carry itself. Some times I might still find some subtle distraction. When that hits, I meditate and re-center things. Finding ways to tap your best creativity is key to letting it flourish.

    • That’s an interesting perspective Bill – you start each day with a clean slate.
      I think for me, I think about what I’m going to write all day long and so at the end of the day I have to get it written down. :-)
      But I like the idea of starting each day/writing a fresh as well.

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