Welcome one and all to our first ever writing challenge of the year! Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been experimenting with my writing. Not necessarily in the form of storycraft or genre-bending, but more so in the whens and hows of the writing process.

When are my most productive writing times?

What format works best for my brain when drafting? Brainstorming? Revising?

How can I improve my enjoyment of craft while bolstering wordcount and managing multiple stories at once?

Obviously, I’m no expert. But I do know how I, personally, work and function best, and I’ve been taking great pains to understand the ins and outs of my weird little brain. So after many, many experiments and struggles, I think I can finally say that, at the very least, I know what time of day I do my best writing at.

But in order to dive further into this and discover if I’m actually right, I decided that, for the month of January, I am going to turn this experiment into a little game!

The Early Bird: A January Writing Challenge

Despite the fact that I always stay up far later than I should, my best writing happens predominantly–in my opinion–in the morning. Those wee early hours when no one else is awake and the whole world is at my fingertips… Those are the moments in which my characters crawl out from their hidey-holes and begin to whisper their delirious nonsense in my ears. And me, being the stenographer that I am, must write it all down for them before I forget. Or, heaven forbid, they stop talking.

I used to think my best writing happened at night. Still dark. Still alone in the quiet of a sleeping house. But there’s a pull at my eyelids that isn’t there in the morning, this little voice that keeps asking and asking and asking me when it’s reasonable to go to sleep. That voice is there, right now, demanding we write the rest of this blog post tomorrow because it’s already 10:30PM and we are TIRED. But I push forward because I know that tomorrow morning is reserved for something much better–story.

For the next two weeks, I am challenging myself to rise one hour earlier than I normally would before work to sit down and get some words in. As it’s been, I’ve managed about 20-30 minutes every morning for the past week to devote towards my manuscript. It’s been extremely fun–and sometimes aggravating when I’m on a roll and have to put my laptop down to march off into the cold–but it’s made me curious.

What would happen if I had an extra hour to devote to my stories every morning? Can I maintain a writing schedule that consistently awakens me at 6:30AM? Is trying this even worth it?

I was originally going to try this challenge for only a week, but as I’ve learned, if you’re going to do something, best to give it 110% from the start. One week doesn’t provide enough data to satisfy my hunger for understanding my writing process. Two weeks, on the other hand, gives me twice as much information.

Contrariwise, if I don’t enjoy this routine by the end of one week, I could still play it off as a fluke of the system. If I don’t enjoy this routine at the end of two… morning writing is apparently not for me. XD

So! Here’s how the challenge is going to work! Beginning this Monday, I shall be getting up at 6:30AM every single morning to squeeze in an extra hour of writing before work. The goal is to find a balance and routine that works for me, rather than against me, so over the course of this experiment, I shall be documenting everything. What I like. What I don’t like. What I modify to suit my daily life. There will be a lot of switching things up and potentially even a complete reversal of the extremely flimsy rules I’ve created for myself, but at the end of the two weeks, it is my hope to have either created a morning writing routine that I love, or to so wholly despise writing in the morning that I no longer wish to be sleeping when I’m writing at night.

Either way, it’s a win-win situation!

The other thing to note is that, for me, 6:30AM really isn’t that early to wake up. I spent two years of my life consistently waking up at 4:25AM, so like… if I can do that simply to go make coffee for people, I think I can wake up at 6 to devote some time to my true calling in life. XD

Since I don’t really know how to end this post properly, allow me to leave you all with a snippet from my current WIP, Project Sunset! This particular snippet comes at a critical point in the story–where we learn of the villain’s plans and our heroes must make the choice to join the fight…

Kawasaki’s lips twitched. “It’s a trade. One soul of the living for that of one perished. The worlds above and below must be equally yoked, you see. One cannot be heavier nor lighter than the other. So to bring someone back from the dead…” Kawasaki’s gaze flicked towards Ed. “One must be willing to take someone out of life.”


I should also mention that this particular snippet was written in the morning… THERE’S A SCIENCE BEHIND THIS GUYS, I SWEAR.

talk to me, peasants!

What time of day do you write best at? Have you ever challenged yourself to try something experimental for a couple weeks, just to see if it works for you? And also, while I have you here, do you have any sort of advice for trying to write multiple stories at a time? This is my next struggle to overcome, so any advice regarding it is highly appreciated!

8 thoughts on “JANUARY WRITING CHALLENGE: The Early Bird

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  1. Okay I LOVE THIS THO. What an absolutely brilliant and delightful experiment to set for yourself in order to form the best productive writing habits. This is amazing. And I am in awe at your dedication. I am…not a morning person. *nervous laughter* But it’s wonderful you’re leaning into what works for YOU.

    I, too, used to write all the time at night. I do feel like sometimes night is my best writing time still buuut I’ve also gotten old and tired and value sleep way too much. XD So in reality I end up getting most of my writing done in the afternoon. But there is still something so magical and appealing about writing when everything is dark and quiet and still. But sleep, man…it calls to me too much.

    ANYWAY. I love all of this so very much and I am excited to hear the results! I do hope it goes wonderfully for you! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH. I hit reply too quickly because I also meant to comment on THE SNIPPET. Oh my goodness, it’s so eerie. Wow wow wow. What an awful decision you’re putting these poor characters through! Iloveit.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh my goodness, thank you!! I’m honestly loving this story so much. It’s been such a weird drafting process, but I’m loving every single second of it, lol!


    2. I didn’t used to think I was a morning person, either! In fact, had you asked me two years ago, I wouldn’t have even thought it was possible for me to get up any earlier than 6 in the morning. However, I think something happened when I was working at the coffee shop, because my most productive moments are now in the morning? I’m frightened. XD

      Dude, your love of sleep is SO relatable. XD I honestly just…love the sleep so much. And I’m pretty sure that’s what’s going to feel like death in the coming weeks. Especially when it’s cold and the world is dark and I just want to stay in my BED. XD The afternoon is another time that I find quite productive! Unfortunately, my work week now involves me being at work every single afternoon. XD So there goes my productive afternoons, lol!

      Meep! Thank you so much, Christine! I’m definitely excited to see how well it goes… (or how well it DOESN’T go, as that is most certainly still an option.) Hopefully by this time in a couple weeks, I’ll have a solid writing routine, though? We shall see!


  2. I’ve been staying up till 1 or 2 trying to get a short story done so I can submit it to an anthology but I think that started to peter out last night. (The staying up, not the story, which is absolutely adorable and sweet and full of Jonathan & Nicki cuteness-and it’s almost over I NEED TO FINISH IT)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am also definitely a morning person, but I have a hard time getting up early these days because I have a hard time going to bed (ironically, it’s usually because I am too tired to get ready for bed, not because I’m being productive or anything), which makes it hard to get up early. It’s a vicious cycle. But I’m hoping to try to get up earlier this coming semester, although the things I’ll be working on probably look more like “Latin homework” and “reading for my major”, but maybe I’ll get some writing done, too!

    I’m looking forward to hearing how this goes for you!

    (ALSO! That snippet!!! WHAT EVEN?! I need more of this!)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dude, I FEEL THIS! Sometimes it’s just like??? I can’t sleep because I’m too TIRED to sleep. And that doesn’t even make sense physically but my heart so understands this. XD Here’s to both of us (hopefully) starting to get up earlier? Who knows, man. Life can be so crazy sometimes!

    Meep! Thank you so much! I’m honestly in LOVE with this book and can’t wait to share it with all of you!


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