Wake Up Writing – Morning Rituals For Busy Scribes


If you want to get your writing done, try to tackle it first thing in the morning, when you have a better chance of being productive. That way, you can tick it off your list and you don’t have to stress about when you will fit it in to your day. You can build in some little rewards because, let’s face it, waking up early is not always a joy.

Before you go to sleep…

Set out your notebook and pen next to your bed. If you don’t like to write in bed, set these out on your desk or the kitchen table the night before.

Perhaps it’s not a great idea to use your laptop, because you will be tempted to check your email, social media or bank balance. (Checking your bank balance is always dangerous when you’re a writer, isn’t it?)

▌Your reward: Treat yourself to a chapter of a good book before you turn out the light. It will not only relax you, but inspire you too.

Hello, early bird

Set your alarm clock an hour earlier than usual. If this is too drastic, try a half an hour earlier.

Use this time to write and nothing else but write. Writing free hand, you will be less tempted to go back and edit, which is a danger when you are using your word processor.

▌Your reward: Treat yourself to a frothy cappuccino or mug of your favourite herbal tea.

Mid-morning scribbler

If you can find 10 or 15 minutes before lunch time, take a break from your desk. Take the pages you wrote in the morning and do a light edit – jot down ideas in the margin of the page, rework a phrase or add a paragraph or two.

▌Your reward: Treat yourself to a smoothie or a healthy snack, or listen to some music on your iPod or phone as you edit.

Weekend trooper

On a Saturday morning, wake up at the same time you did during the week. It pays to be consistent.

Take your handwritten pages and transcribe these onto your laptop or computer. Add in the edits or revisions you made during your mid-day break, but don’t be tempted to rewrite everything.  The main thing is to keep the momentum going.

▌Your reward: Treat yourself to a movie or your favourite sitcom, or indulge in a short nap in the afternoon.

Having a consistent and familiar ritual will help you become a more productive writer. At the end of the month, print out everything you have on your novel or story and do a second round of edits.

If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg or sign up for our online course.

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