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It’s Five in the Morning…

June 12, 2012 4 comments
alarm clock, bought from IKEA

(Photo credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

So it’s five o’clock in the morning…

…making this nearly six o’clock alarm to the left look very appealing!

The coffee is on. A mug sits steaming beside me, the steam peeking up over the edge of the mug, seeking to confirm that I really am sitting here on the couch at this unprecedented hour. Coffee fed intravenously would probably be more effective at this point.

I reassure the steam from my coffee that it really is me sitting here, but only because I’m in an experiment to see how well creativity flows at such an early hour. I’m a six o’clock and not a minute before girl.

Still, I’m up for a challenge and the challenge has been given. Actually, the challenge was to wake up two hours earlier and write, but waking up at four would leave me in an undesirable state to be around for a good part of the day. Not a good idea.

Compromise was inevitable. I know creativity can flow in the evening, and considered being a non-conformist, staying up later rather than waking up earlier. That’s worked for me in the past. I wrote an entire novel in the late evening when our children were small. Granted, when they were small they went to bed early, my hubby went to bed early, and I had a quiet house all to myself—minus the distractions of the day.

Fast forward many years. My children are no longer small. These young adult men that now tower over me don’t go to bed early. Quiet, distraction-free evenings no longer exist. Going to bed around eleven means I’m the first one to bed.

Mornings may be the answer. Mornings fall into the distraction-free time zone. Yet the question remains: Can I get creativity to flow before six in the morning? 

I’m willing to try. Willing to experiment. My compromise is that I’m waking one hour earlier to see if this is even profitable for me.

I’ve survived several days of the experiment, but survived is the operative word. I figure to prove or disprove it, I should give it a few weeks, so I’ll stick it out for a while longer before giving an opinion. I’ll check in at a later date and let you know if early morning works for me—or if I’ve decided to be a nonconformist and work out a different approach!

How about you? When do you write? And why? What works for you? Let me know in the comment section!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rosie Cochran

I am a pastor’s wife, former missionary, mother of four great sons, and author of three Christian suspense novels: Betrayed, Identity Revealed, and A Murder Unseen. (Available at: Amazon.com.) I have a passion for God, my family, and writing! Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Have a question? Email Me!

Join the Challenge: 15 Habits of Great Writers

I’ve enjoyed Jeff Goins’ blog for a while now. I love his style. He knows how to write. Then he put out a 15 day challenge to writers called 15 Habits of Great Writers. Today marks day three of the challenge—but it’s never to late to join. Click on the graphic to the left to find out how.

Being very goal oriented, I liked the idea of a challenge. As I signed up, I couldn’t help but wonder if this was to be an easy challenge—or a “straight-up-the-mountain-without-climbing-gear” type of challenge.

DAY ONE was easy.

Great writers declare that they are writers. It’s as simple as that. Having reached the point where I finally admitted I am a writer, I didn’t feel the need to restate it. (You may want to read my post called I Am a Writer.)

DAY TWO sounded easy at the get go.

Believe. Great writers believe they are writers. We need to believe we are writers. Okay, I’ll admit it. I was a bit disillusioned at that point. I had declared that I’m a writer. I believe that I’m a writer. Can we get to the nuts and bolts? Please? (The Canadian politeness in me had to shine through.)

I think Jeff must have heard me, rubbed his hands together, and thought, “She has asked for it!” … Well, not really. He’s nicer than that. But he did move briskly on from our need to “marinate” on the idea of our being writers to this bold statement:

And just so you don’t think this is all esoteric, you’re going to do something radical. You’re going to get up two hours early and write.

Gulp. Not a little sip or swallow, but a humongous gulp.

Two hours early? Are you crazy!

(Right, the Canadian politeness was in short supply in that initial moment.)

I sat back and pondered the idea. I pondered lunacy. And I pondered the fact that I was even pondering on the idea. Did I even dare consider the possibility? Or did I break the mold, be a non-conformist, and give in to my night owl tendencies?

I read through the comments. Someone had to back me up that waking up two hours earlier bordered on lunacy. I kept reading through the comments.

Admittedly, there were a few that expressed that they were night owls, not the early-bird-that-gets-the-worm type—but most were ready to try the morning thing. I must agree that there is the strange draw of community, of knowing other writers are up writing just when you are!

But the real concept? It’s about commitment.

It’s about not just declaring I am a writer, not just believing I am a writer, but consistently writing.

Not tweeting about it. Not reading about it. Not even facebooking about it. But actually writing.

The dilemma arises. To conform or not to conform? To be a part of the community that arises early and writes—or not to be a part of that community?

Being a night owl, I’ve reached a compromise. I’ll continue to get some writing in at night, but I will commit to experiment with how well the brain juices flow at five in the morning.  I may be pleasantly surprised. 

Who wants to join me? Who wants to be a part of this early morning community? I would love to hear your thoughts on when works best for you to write. If you decide to join the 15 day challenge, I would love to hear that too!

Related articles:


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rosie Cochran

I am a pastor’s wife, former missionary, mother of four great sons, and author of three Christian suspense novels: Betrayed, Identity Revealed, and A Murder Unseen. (Available at: Amazon.com.) I have a passion for God, my family, and writing! Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Have a question? Email Me!

I Am a Writer

February 4, 2012 5 comments
Line art representation of a Quill

Image via Wikipedia (Public Domain)

You’ve been writing your entire life. Letters. Short stories. Possibly poems. You’ve been blogging for a few months—or maybe even a few years. Maybe you have even published a book. It’s out there. Your name adorns its cover, telling the world you are the one who wrote it.

And yet, you hesitate to call yourself a writer. You hesitate to call yourself an author.

When does that magical day come when you can say: “I am a writer.” How do you know?

If you work as an accountant, you call yourself an accountant. If you weld, you’re a welder. If you’re in sales, you’re a salesperson.

Why then do those who write hesitate to call themselves writers?

Being a writer is a bit more ambiguous. I mean, anyone can write. Not just anyone can weld. Not just anyone can balance the books and generate a profit and loss report. Not just anyone can sell a new car to a blind man. But anyone can write.

Writers need validation. They need validation that they can’t just write, but that they write well, that they write in a manner that reaches people.

Validation doesn’t always come overnight.  But one day you finally believe what others are telling you. You believe that you can write. And you finally say, “I am a writer.”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rosie Cochran

I am a pastor’s wife, former missionary, mother of four great sons, and author of three books: Betrayed, Identity Revealed, and A Murder Unseen. (Available at: Amazon.com.) I have a passion for God, my family, and writing! Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Have a question? Email Me!

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How Productive Is Invisible Marketing?

August 4, 2011 1 comment

Can you teach an old dog new tricks? That’s what we’re going to find out. My newest novel, A Murder Unseen, is polished and published. Though it feels like now I should stop, relax, and take a deep sigh of relief, I know that is not the case. The journey has just begun. Now comes marketing.

For one who would have loved to live in the era of writing under a pen name and being the mysteriously anonymous writer, for one who was raised to not toot one’s own horn or promote self, marketing can be viewed as downright embarrassing. It cuts across the grain of how I think, of who I am.

Somehow, I’ve managed to write and sell two books without drawing excessive attention to the fact that I’ve written them. What an accomplishment, right? Not really. I’ve found there’s another type of embarrassment when friends you’ve known for years looked shocked at the revelation that you’ve written not only one book, but several. Why were they never told? Um… . How do I explain my secret obsession with writing?

There remains the fact that people don’t buy books they don’t know exist, that marketing while trying to remain as invisible as possible really isn’t marketing at all. Yes, I sold books. Yes, I broke even. Yes, I made a profit. However, I didn’t sell enough books to warrant continuing writing books—and I love to write. Therefore, does it not make sense to learn to market if only to justify the time and energy put into the creation of my books? Can you teach an old dog new tricks? I’m not sure, but I’m willing to try.

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