“First I have to feed the cat,” I said when my mentor told me to write first thing when I got up in the morning.
“OK, so feed the cat. Then write,” she told me.
“But once I go downstairs to feed the cat, I get distracted.” (There were a myriad diversions downstairs—email, roommate, watering the garden, scrubbing the grout in the kitchen tiles.) This was a few years back and I was following a program of writing 30 minutes a day . . . period. (See my post “The Timer Is Your Friend.”)
The next thing my mentor said delighted me as much as it surprised me.
“Write in bed,” she said.
I loved getting advice from another writer. No one but a writer could come up with something so entirely decadent. Truth is, it was equal parts decadent and logical. You’re distracted once you get up + you have a laptop = write in bed. Of course!
So, for the next few months when I went upstairs at bedtime I took with me my laptop and a snack for the next morning to tide me over till breakfast. (My darling cat, Treepuck, would have to wait 30 minutes for his breakfast, till I finished my writing.)
When I woke each morning, I would reach for my laptop without setting foot on the floor. I did this daily and made my way through a couple of chapters tucked cozily beneath my comforter.
Unexpectedly, over the ensuing months I eased my way from the bed to the floor and eventually down the stairs to my living room office, all without ever being distracted.
So if you find yourself distracted in the morning . . . take your writing to bed.