A year of 6 a.m. writing sprints

Untitled designA year ago today, one of my fellow writers, Kristie Wolf, and I decided to get up at 6 a.m. and spend an hour working on our novels.

We called it our “morning sprints” but we really weren’t in a hurry. “Sprint” means more like an exercise to get our creative juices flowing so we could continue working throughout the day.

When I agreed to this cockamamie idea, I thought it was for one morning. But one morning turned into two, and then three. Then a week of sprinting turned into a month. And now a year. Nellie Jane, another writer, joined us. And occasionally others can fit the hour of writing into their very busy schedules.

After all, our writing group is comprised of mothers with children to get off to school, full-time employees, students. But this one early hour is for us writers.

And, guess what? It works. Every day, we climb out of bed to spend at least an hour with our stories and a friend. What could be nicer?

Our get-togethers, every weekday morning for 52 weeks now, have given us daily moral support. We’ve read each other’s work, spurred each other on with other viewpoints and answers to one of a writer’s most persistent questions. Namely, what do I write next?

We have gotten together virtually—we use an online platform called Slack—and written on holidays and weekends, even vacation. Different time zones be damned! The beach or the tour can wait! We’ve gotta write.

I looked back to see what I wrote in the past year. It startled me.

Among my scribbling projects, I revised my second edition of Divided Loyalties (coming soon!), tweaked my Annapolis Cinderella story and wrote query letters for it (let’s not talk about rejections now). I wrote a contemporary romance, finessed my novella (also coming soon!) Right now I’m into the rewrite of my Ocean City historical fiction (pitching at the Historical Novel Society meeting later this month.)

Six o’clock in the morning is a good time to get started. The phone doesn’t ring. No one texts me. The coffee is still fresh. (Thank you, dear husband, for pouring me a cup every day.)

There are drawbacks. My garden is slightly neglected. My house decidedly so. I used to go to exercise classes pretty regularly at 8. Sometimes these things don’t get the attention they deserve because I’m lost in another world.

But who cares? I’m writing. Correction: we’re writing. I’m ever so grateful for my writing friends who get out their laptops at 6 a.m. for a refreshing dip into the worlds they’ve created.

There is, I believe, no better way to start my day.

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