The Warm-Up Act

There is one aspect of my writing schedule and daily regimen that I did not share with you…

Et, tu, prolific one?
Et, tu, prolific one?

Sometimes when I get up at three or four in the morning and start writing, I do not work on my novel.

GASP!

I know, I know. I said use that writing time for writing. With one caveat.

Very rarely does an Olympic runner get out of bed stroll down to the track and bust out a new world record.

They warm up.

I know this from swimming. I was the kind of swimmer who would roll out of bed, go to the swim meet, and get a decent time in my event. The kids who really did great stuff warmed up. I will not pretend that they took it more seriously than me. They absolutely did.

Pre-swim meet me. But in a nice bed in a middle class neighborhood.
Pre-swim meet me. But in a nice bed in a middleclass neighborhood.

So a lot of times, the first words out of my mouth at three or four in the morning – or the first words off my fingertips at the computer – would not be literary brilliance.

GAAASP!!!

Replying to a few blog posts and comments is probably where I warm-up.

While I’m doing, that I’m starting to itch and feel guilty that I ought to be working on my novel. After an hour or so I’m hot to get going and completely frustrated at myself for not having jumped in the novel. Yeah, it happens.

Me, on other days. Reel it back in, gang.
Me, on other days. Reel it back in, gang.

Other days I wake up with a great idea that I have to write down, and I dive right in.

So while I encourage you to savor and value your writing time, I do not diminish you for needing to warm up on occasion.

It is usually only after I’ve burned up the keyboard for an hour that my words actually begin to make sense. Then I have no issue taking a break, refocusing, and going after the story at hand.

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Your humble host.
Your humble host.

Got a QUESTION? ASK IT! Hit the Contact Me button and I’ll see what I can do.

Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the hilarious upcoming novel “Poggibonsi: an italian misadventure.” Check out his other works HERE.

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