For years, I've been waking up at 5am to write, but I wanted to utilize these early mornings even more by waking at 4am as an experiment for this writing/outlining vlog!
My Write Way Podcast: https://mywriteway.podbean.com/
The Dialogue Doctor: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj2zEsB5pvJgcKjtPQijheQ
The Dialogue Daisy: https://youtu.be/wFy_n-JswuM
Character Wheel explanation: https://youtu.be/gy6P-xcPYvo
You love looking at tired faces, don't you? Well, you're about to get a lot of them. So I have not done a writing vlog in such a long time, and I am so excited for this one. And it is all about waking up at 4:00 AM to work. Now, if this is your first time here, hello. But if it is not, you know, that my writing hours are from 5:00 to 7:00 AM. This has seemed to work for me for quite some time now, but as kiddo is getting older and we are currently in COVID times, it's become a little difficult to keep with routines and schedules. And I have found that 5:00 to 7:00 AM window is shrinking. I've come to the point where I wonder why I even bother waking up early anyway. It's really the only time I can count on during the day, because I am busy all day and I have to make time for my family.
And I have other responsibilities as well. My effort in waking up at 4:00 AM is to really start diving in to my writing process first thing in the morning or any of my author business stuff that I need to do any admin, anything to further my presence here. And in other places where I am bringing this content, I need some time to do stuff for myself. And it's not really a sacrifice of sleep because right now it is 8:15 at night. Normally I would be sitting down and maybe having a snack and watching Netflix when those productivity hours that I am just becoming a part of the couch I can be using toward my author business. I really want to start leveling up. I am indie publishing this year, and there's a lot of things that I need to be doing behind the scenes to make my deadlines work. I am no longer relying on anyone else to make my deadlines. So I need to work. I don't get a lot of time during the day when everyone is awake and we're just doing our day to day. This is a fun little experiment. And hopefully at the end of it, I'll come out with a better process. If not, I'm fine with going back to my five to seven, but I really am interested to see what that extra hour a day does for my writing business. So let's get started.
Good morning. It is 4:12 in the morning and I surprisingly feel okay. I don't really look okay, but no one's looking at me, right. Something just popped up on my screen. So I had a few interruptions last night from kiddo, which is completely normal and looking at the clock now, it just feels like I have so much more time. Obviously I do, but it just, it's just a strange feeling. I didn't know how I'd feel this early. So I woke up at four. I got up, I actually made my bed. So my bed's made before five o'clock in the morning, which is funny. So I'm going to get started. So I usually do sprints with my writer friends, and two of them live in the UK. So they are already up and ready for the day. So I'm going to hop on zoom and get started with work.
Hey, so I wanted to give a quick update about this morning. It is close to noon now and I'm feeling okay. One of my biggest worries about doing this was that I was going to feel exhausted. But I feel pretty normal. I think going to bed early really helped. Earlier than I normally would have. I got a lot accomplished this morning. So my goal for today, because I had so much time I had the three hours is that I wanted to dedicate two blocks of time to different parts of my business. So for the first block, the first hour and a half, I am the most creative right when I wake up for some reason. So I was able to outline the second book in my indie trilogy and with my process, the first part of my outline, I use Save the Cat Writes a Novel.
So I did that earlier this week and I was able to weave that into Mastering Suspense, Structure and Plot by Jane K. Cleland. She has a roadmap in terms of outlining that I like to use. I started using that in 2019, and I'm really finding that process of outlining works well for me, it works well for my brain. So I worked on that in the first hour and a half and the second hour and a half was more admin content creation. I started to repurpose my YouTube channel videos into a new podcast called My Write Way. I also recently started a Patreon. I wanted to sort of supplement my ability to bring content, this type of content to writers of all different learning styles. So I'm working hard to make sure I have the correct closed captions, transcripts, the videos obviously, and audio versions.
So I started that little podcast as well, so I will link everything down below and I wanted to shout out one of my patrons, Daniel Willcocks, he had just joined. And that is a perk for being part of my Patreon. You do get a shout out in the $5 tier and also shout outs in future videos. So that's fun. The people that I have so far are really awesome. I love Patreon as a platform I've been using it for a while. I am a patron of many different creators, many of them here on YouTube. So I worked on that. I have everything scheduled about a week out now because I'm sort of incorporating the process of Patreon and the podcast and the YouTube channel and making sure that I'm available on my other social platforms. It's getting really dense when it comes to a lot of my admin.
So having that hour and a half really is helpful to me. Usually I would squeeze that in at the end of the night, but I find I don't have to. I mean, there's obviously plenty more I can be doing, but I don't feel like I'm behind and I don't feel like I have to do it at the end of the day when I'm exhausted or when I want to spend time with my family. I feel like today was really productive. I'm interested to see how the rest of the day's go because, you know, the first day of anything really can have a lot of energy with it. But I want to see if it's consistent. I really, really enjoyed having so much time in that timeframe versus an hour and a half to two hours, like having almost three whole hours in the morning to be productive is just so awesome. I crossed so many things off my to-do list. I added more of course, because I'm always looking to do more. Successful day one so far. And I'll try to check in tonight, if not, I will see you in the morning.
Day two of 4:00 AM wake up. And this one is a little harder than yesterday. Nice hair, dude. Completely my fault. But I went to bed a little later than I anticipated and I'm suffering for that. That's a lesson to be learned. But I do feel somewhat awake. My house is very cold this morning. I like to sleep when it's cold. So it's partly my fault. So getting out of bed was a little bit of a hassle, but it is 4:15 right now and I'm ready to start to work.
Hello again. So it's later in the afternoon on day two of this 4:00 AM waking up experiment. And I admittedly am still tired. Like I said earlier, that's totally my fault. I stayed up a bit later. So putting that into my schedule, a strict bedtime is very important, but moving forward, I will be doing that. So this morning I did my two different blocks once more. I find that after an hour and a half of working on my book, at least in this outlining stage, I do get a little fatigued and the natural progression to move on to admin stuff is it just comes very easily. I think I did go over about 5-10 minutes. I was actually working on a character wheel today. Recently I found out about the services from Jeff Elkins, the dialogue doctor, I will link his YouTube channel down in the description below because he has been so amazing for my process of improving craft. As I've been published for some time,
I really don't feel sometimes as if there's really much more to learn in terms of writing craft, but since he specializes in dialogue, I did feel at some point that my dialogue wasn't as good as it could be. And once I found his services, I had a conversation with him and he is so fantastic to talk to, and you can see his positivity and exuberance and excitement on his YouTube channel. So I will link also I will link his channel and also two specific videos that have helped me a lot. One of them is talking about the dialogue daisy and the other is about character wheels. So he talks about setting baselines for your characters voice and then different modulations based on different scenarios within your book. So it's definitely transformed the way that I look at dialogue and the way I write dialogue.
And I feel like the book that I worked on my first indie published book that is currently with my editor, I feel like the book has just transformed so much more than I thought, just in terms of dialogue and then everything else, the plot and the scenes, like everything was transformed due to that. So I am thinking about doing an experiment for the second book in my series, the one that I'm currently outlining, I am toying with the idea of doing a dialogue only first draft, or maybe a dialogue heavy first draft, where I don't really do much in terms of description and just really, really hone in on the dialogue, boil the scene down to the dialogue between the characters and see what happens. I have self-made deadlines for these books, but I really want to try this with these books because I'm just excited about trying something new and seeing if it helps me. So we'll see if you're interested in seeing that as a vlog, do let me know. As my day is going on, I'm a bit more fatigued, but I got to get through the day because I'm a busy person and a busy mom, I guess I'll see you next time.
Good morning. It is day three of my 4:00 AM wake up and it's close to 4:30 now. I woke up this morning at four, but I've been a little stuck with my outline for book two. And I just, as an experiment, another one, I just wanted to sit there and think about the book. And if there was any way I could shake loose this little block that I'm having with the outline nothing really came from it, but I'm going to dive in anyway and see if I can jumpstart something. I think my biggest reason for this is that book one is with my editor and I sort of want to see what she says about the first book and see if there's anything like within the first book that may change, that would affect book two. I know when I did the end of book one the ending just felt a little like flat to me, and then I had this like burst of inspiration.
And so the beginning of book two is a lot different than it was originally when I published these books. So that's very exciting, but now I sort of want to change much about the book, but I don't know what direction I want to do quite yet. So that's what I'm struggling with right now. But as I said, these are all my own deadlines and I don't want to rush these books like I did the first time around because they were on such a short deadline and I was still like a very, very green author. So, yeah, I'm going to get started.
Well, hello, good morning. Obviously it's not the afternoon yesterday. I was just unable to film yesterday. I couldn't find time to really sit down and talk about my day was crazy. Kiddo had a delay with school because of snow, and then I had a delivery coming to my house. So I wanted to make sure everything was in order and everyone got here in time and so many things happening. So it is day four of my 4:00 AM experiment. I wanted to just talk about what I did yesterday. Recap that and talk about what I did today for my outline yesterday, that first block of time I used Libbie Hawker's, Take Off Your Pants outlining book, I read it last year and I thought it was very interesting. And I had already had a book outlined at that point. So I hadn't been able to use it properly.
I found that it worked well for me. It worked well for my brain. It added a little bit to the outline that I already have with Save the Cat and Mastering Suspense, Structure and Plot. It outlines a little differently. So I was able to look at the book a little different which was helpful. Today, I started with a narrative outline. So basically I write the book from top to bottom. This time usually I won't break them into chapters, but this time I just felt like it. This process is always changing for me. So I've been breaking them out into chapters as I write sort of creating you know, the setup going through an issue, making a decision, and then sort of ending on it, a bit of a cliffhanger. Not anything crazy. I do like to end my chapters on cliffhangers to make the reader go to the next page.
I want to leave them. I don't want to leave them at a stopping point where they can easily put the book down. I want them to be able to be like, Ooh, what are they doing next? And then they go to the next chapter. So I worked on that this morning. I stopped around six o'clock. I actually had the urge to keep going past that five 30 mark because I've been doing hour and a half blocks, but it went well. And I felt like I was at a good stopping point around six o'clock and I want to sit back and think about what else is going to happen with my outline this time around though, when I was doing like Save the Cat and Mastering Suspense, I really couldn't grasp the story as much as now that I am with the narrative outline.
And I feel like really excited to write. And I do also jump around when I do my outline. So if I'm writing something, you know, I'll be happy to go back and put something in a different chapter to sort of pull all those threads through that I have previously set up. So I'm really excited. I also heard back from my editor and she had such lovely things to say about the first book. She said the book was pristine which was so nice to hear as I've been working so much on dialogue and really beefing up this book and bringing up this book to where it should be, where I am at in my current writing that was nice to hear. And she said, there's just a few little tweaks that she wants to go over and she will talk to me later this week.
So that's very exciting. That kind of gave me a little boost when it came to outlining book two. And I'm so excited to hear what she has to say and any fixes that I need to do, this is all becoming like so real. I am going to batch all of these books, but at least the first two books. And hopefully I'll be in a little more with book three before I start publishing them, because I want to rapid release these books. That is a strategy I chose for myself after many, many, many hours of thinking and researching about these specific books. So it's all good things. So I have about a half hour left before I need to get ready for my day. I'm still feeling energized in the morning. Once I start working, the getting out of bed is a little difficult, but I'm working on it. And I think I have a plan in mind, which I will discuss with you tomorrow.
Hello, good morning. It is four in the morning. I worked a little later today than usual. I was just laying in bed being lazy because I went to bed late last night later than I anticipated. I am going to jump into the words today is day five of this experiment. And in a little bit, I'll talk to you all about what I think about it. If I will incorporate it into my schedule and things you could do to prepare if you wanted to do something like this for yourself. So I'm going to get to work.
So here we are at the end of the 4:00 AM waking experiment, and I want to give some thoughts about everything that's happened this week, and if I'm going to incorporate it into my schedule, moving forward and things that I did to enhance this experience a bit for myself. So first of all, I absolutely do want to incorporate this into my daily writing routine. I don't think I will do it five days a week. I think I will do it four days a week because on a certain day, every week I have a later meeting at night and I don't want to compromise that at all. And I don't want to compromise my sleep. I know this week when I tried to do that, it was a little taxing on me, which is why it consistently, I wasn't getting enough sleep because I wasn't fully caught up.
So yes, definitely. I want to work from four to seven, four days a week, five or five 30 to seven on that day that I have my late meaning because it just makes sense for my sleeping schedule. So I'm so happy that I came to this revelation and I'm able to really be productive with my author business right now and with indie publishing. And I want to see possibly where I am in a year when it comes to this. So if you were interested in doing this for yourself, I do have some tips about things that helped me. These are not the end all be all, but I found that first thing in the morning, I do recommend having water right away versus coffee. I find that for my body at least. And I've heard this a lot of different places that having water, first thing you have been sleeping for five to eight hours and your body is dehydrated.
So that really helped perk me up at 4:00 AM when I was feeling particularly sluggish. And then after that, I would have my two cups of coffee for the day. The next thing I would do is make sure you go to bed at a decent hour, make sure you get the appropriate amount of sleep that you need to feel refreshed in the morning, because if you are waking up at 4:00 AM and have to complete a full day before you get to go to sleep again that really could have some effects on your productivity. If you're super tired, I found that going to bed at the very latest 9:30 really seems to work for me. I do find that if I try to get into bed at least a little earlier and I read or watch TV for a little bit that really helps me the next morning.
I would also recommend planning, planning around your schedule. Like I said, I am probably not going to do this on the days that I have that late meeting. So I'm planning ahead. I know which days a week that I can wake up at 4:00 AM and wake up later. So planning ahead is definitely so you know exactly what to expect the next day. And also, I always think consistency is key. So if you plan on doing this one day a week or five days a week, just trying to be consistent with that schedule. And I think if you've planned ahead and you are doing all the right things, that this could really benefit your productivity, especially I think people who have children and have to spend a lot of time during the day with their children or any of their routines. Even if it's at this point, virtual learning, it's definitely important to be able to have the time for yourself for the things that you need to accomplish.
And even if you don't have kids, if you have a full-time job or you care for someone, I think that if you are strapped for time during the day, or you have to work late into the evening, this may be something you might want to try. I feel like too, another takeaway is that at night now I don't feel as pressured to get kiddo to bed and then jump on the computer and do all of the things that I didn't get to do during the day. Once I have accomplished them in the morning, I'm actually able to relax at night so I can sit down and watch a movie with my husband or kiddo, or be able to do the bedtime routine and not be checking the clock every five minutes to get to the point where I need to start getting my work done. And I definitely feel so much more accomplished than I did previously. So I'm so, so excited to add this to my routine. Let me know in the comments below if you are interested in checking out an early morning routine, I'd love to chat with you. And also if you enjoyed this video, do give it a like, hit that subscribe button and the little notification bell next to it. So you know the next time I upload and I'll see you soon.
Author. Dreamer. Storyteller.