The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Morning Program

In preparation for a couple of new projects I’ve been hinting about, I’ve been getting up at six in the morning, to get my basic exercise and writing out of the way before Jason wakes up—8 to 8:30 is his time.

I’ve found that my mind won’t focus for the first fifteen minutes or so, and writing is difficult until the caffeine kicks in (I use a product called Mega Blast, which is caffeine plus the nutritional co-factors that make caffeine work.  Nice stuff!) and troll about the web a bit, waiting for the yawns to go away.

But then, when its time to write, I jump in to create text in Final Draft.  My initial plan was to create five pages a day, but when I did the math, that was just too marginal in terms of the work ahead.  Ten pages a day, on the other hand, will do just fine.

So the trick is to set myself up every night for the next day’s work.  This means reading (read 10X as much as you write), planning (asking myself questions germane to the next day’s text) and allowing myself to go to sleep thinking about what I’ll write in the morning.

Well, actually I vacillate between thinking about tomorrow’s work and repeating “I am” over and over as I spiral down into sleep.  The idea is to get my unconscious mind to crunch the data, preparing me for work.

Right now, I’m in sprint mode finishing a suspense script T and I will be pitching in November, after we get back from a working vacation in Antigua. 

The real point of this is to encourage you to look at the morning routine YOU adhere to.  Extrapolate it out over months.  If you do this every morning, will you increase your chances of reaching your goals?  If so, then fight like crazy to create that perfect morning.  Steal it back from the world, one minute at a time—it probably won’t be easy at all.

Trust me, I HATE going to bed at 10 pm.  The happiest days of my life revolved around a schedule of bed at 1am and up at 9:30.  Sigh.  Jason, if I didn’t love you so much, I’d…I’d…

Aw, nuts.  If I didn’t already love my baby boy, I’d fall in love with him all over again.

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