(Pretty building on a pretty day in a pretty city that goes by the name of Edinburgh)
After spending 4 weeks in Edinburgh, Scotland, we have moved further south to the Scottish borderlands to take care of an elderly dog for a little more than 2 weeks. It’s a very quiet location and is perfect for writing.
I’ve made enormous progress on my upcoming book, ‘Shattering the Mirror’, and will be sharing more information about it in the next few days.
Even though I have excellent motivation and great circumstances for writing, I went into this house sit with the intent of taking full advantage of the creative opportunity. It’s easy to rest and sleep in and lazily walk dogs when I house sit – which is fine except that it’s also easy to neglect my writing.
One of the key ingredients in any creative success is consistency. It’s important to be in the habit of creating. Waiting for inspiration just doesn’t work – going to a desk every day does. The more consistently you work, the more ideas you have, and the more likely you are to finish what you started.
What I knew I needed, going into this house sit, was a little more structure.
It’s no secret that I am not a morning person. I have a hard time waking up (read ‘I stumble around groggily for 2 1/2 hours upon leaving the bed’), and I do my best creative work later in the day. While it seems natural that I should adjust my schedule to stay up late and write, that method simply hasn’t worked for me. I am more productive when I get up earlier. And by ‘earlier’ I mean ‘before 11am’. Stephen, on the other hand, is definitely a morning person. He springs out of bed, fully awake and brimming with ideas, and has a remarkable full command of the English language as soon as he opens his eyes. He’s always supportive of the idea of getting up earlier.
We made a plan to take advantage of our time before we left Edinburgh. I needed his blessing and assistance, because we spend 100% of our time together so changes in my schedule effect him, and also I just can’t make myself get out of bed if he’s not up (he’s the morning person – if he’s not up, then what am I doing getting up when it’s clearly some ungodly hour?). We decided that if we could put in a productive routine in the morning, perhaps the day would already feel a success and we would have the rest of the day to work, walk the dog, and explore the area.
We’ve been trying it out the last week or so and its gone really well! I think it’s part of the reason I’ve gotten so much work done. The structured morning looks like this:
- 7am – wake up
- Drink hot lemon water
- Meditate 20-30 minutes
- Yoga 30-40 minutes
- Journal and list 3 things to accomplish
- Coffee and breakfast
After breakfast, I do whatever I want. It’s really nice because by 10am I feel like I’ve already accomplished something. Listing only 3 things I want to accomplish is not only manageable, but keeps me focused in a way that balances success and productivity. I’ve found it’s also motivating to do even more.
I committed to myself to keep the morning routine through the end of this house sit. I didn’t want to try and change my whole life forever, but I did want to maximize on what was in front of me. I have enjoyed learning to adapt my favorite things (minus getting up early!) into my new lifestyle of constant travel.