I'm writing from my bed on a Saturday morning. Two kids, an Australian Shepherd and my wife are snuggled up beside me. Cartoons flicker across our flat-screen TV. It's still dark outside, still cool. Steam rises from a cup of warm coffee on the nightstand. In other words, this is my idea of a perfect Saturday morning, something I haven't experienced once over the last four months … not until today. Why? I've been writing, which, I guess you could say, I'm still doing now. But writing a column and writing a novel are two very different chores. I can write a column in bed with a yellow legal pad in my lap while the kids squirm and the dog snores. Novels, on the other hand, require absolute focus. When I'm drafting a manuscript, I write first thing in the morning. It's not just the kids I'm escaping, it's everything else too: texts, emails, social media, work. Which is precisely why I haven't enjoyed a Saturday morning snuggle-fest since June. If this sounds crazy, it's because it is. I don't take days off, especially at the start of a new project. There's this mystical kind of momentum I'm trying to achieve, and the only way to get the ball rolling is by showing up and writing every day. I don't plot out any of my books, I don't outline, but I do make sure my backside is planted in my desk chair when the clock strikes 5 every morning. […]
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