Yesterday, I didn't write in my journal first thing in the morning for the first time in more than a decade. (Well, there was one other day in 2002, the Sunday morning that my dad died). It felt odd not to have that meditative, wake-up journaling activity, but I had decided that for the next five mornings of the retreat, I would write on my novel first thing as Eric Maisel, my creativity mentor, and other writing coaches recommend.
I sat in resistance for about 10 minutes and then slowly I began to write. As I had resolved one of the logistical issues the day before, I had several avenues open to me. And I had also realized the day before that some of the chapter order was off and that too seemed to give me license to just plunge in out of order and write what I felt like. And then it began to flow and I worked steadily for 3 hours with a brief break for breakfast, then walked an hour, then came back and wrote another hour. In all, I drafted about 2,000 words. What's more, I felt reimmersed in my characters and their dilemmas, in the flow of thinking about them.
This morning I resolved to do it again. It was harder. I hadn't slept as well and didn't feel rested and rarin' to go as I did yesterday. I missed my journal routine, slow meditation and contemplation over tea, rather than this attempt to get my brain to solve problems and generate ideas. But I hung in there and after about a slow 20 minutes, I was writing again and did so until lunch.
And while I know that 5 days is not going to instill a new habit, I can begin to see how I might be able to do this at home, if I got up two hours before I went to the gym or to work. I could then have about 90 minutes to write, a long-enough time to get out a page.