Last week I decided I would wake up at 5 a.m. each morning for the entire month of November — to write.
But I didn’t wait around to get started. I don’t believe in waiting.
So dutifully and discompassionately, my cell rings me awake at five, on command, via covenant with myself. I set the alarm the night before, so I know it’s coming, but that doesn’t quell the panic when it chimes. I’m not a snooze person, so I shut it off and lie in bed and I think, I should get up and write.
The night air is cooler now in late October and my bed is soft and warm. My dog is snuggled against my leg, snoring. The phone woke the cat too and now she’s tiptoeing around my dresser, waiting for me to get up. Watching to see if I will. And really, I should. I need to write.
Five in the morning is hard, but it’s also beautiful. A deep freeze took care of the cricket and cicada songs. The whirl of dry air tumbling through my house vents is all I can hear. My neighbors windows are still shuttered and dark. The meadow sparkles with the faintest dusting of hoarfrost. Maybe it’s the sleep deprivation, but even my body vibrates with potential. My coffee tastes bold as it teases me awake. Before the sun rises, it seems I could get anything done. Everything. Difficult things are beautiful.
My goal is to pop up at five, ready for coffee and morning pages for about an hour before the kids wake up and we begin our day, but so far I’ve only been able to drag myself downstairs at half-past. The coffee has brewed before the dog begrudgingly joins me (and I do mean begrudgingly) at quarter till. And then I sit down to begin writing just before six. I’m not so far off track that I can’t course-correct, but I’m still not there yet—which feels like a failure just a halfway through.
Every morning for the past week I have willed myself out of bed before my whole world could be bothered to stir. And with coffee in hand, I sit down.
And every single morning, I have found (with this experiment, and any time I’ve made the effort to fuck resistance and do the work), is the hardest morning to write.