Time for a change.
In a recent interview with Tim Ferriss, author Neil Gaiman spoke about realizing that the way he used to write is not the way he can carry on writing. From juggling multiple projects to staying up late into the night, Gaiman had to shift how he approaches his work so he can continue to create in a way that feels right for him.
This got me thinking about what feels right for me in my writing practice. For years, I have woken up early enough to write Morning Pages before moving into whatever comes next. For the past year, what comes next has been exercise. And in the past four months, exercise has been followed up with writing my daily blog. Then comes my workday.
This routine worked well for me up until the middle of last week. As is often the case, my body was the first to signal that things weren’t working anymore. My early-morning exercise class started to feel horrible. Whereas it used to wake me up, I was now leaving the gym wondering if I’d be able to squeeze in a nap later in the day.
What’s more, from this less-than-energized place, I would return home to write my blog already itching for distraction. Despite realizing that I’d hit a low with distractions a few weeks ago, I wasn't doing much better now. Even putting the apps that suck me into the scroll four screens away on my phone didn’t help.
So, yesterday—after hearing what Neil Gaiman had to say on the topic—I decided it was time for a change. I will do all of my writing in the morning and then go workout after that. From my morning pages to my daily blog post to some creative work, the first two and a half hours of my day will be dedicated to the work that matters most to me.
I am hopeful that this will give me the energy and focus to do better work—from my writing to my weightlifting. One of the most supportive things when it comes to my life as a freelancer is a structured schedule. So change like this can feel destabilizing. And I’m going to do my best to lean into that discomfort.
It was time for a change. My body was uncompromising in its demands, regardless of whether or not my mind was willing to embrace its requests. So here I am. Getting an extra 30 minutes of sleep in the morning and getting all my writing done early. I’ll let you know how this shift goes.
In the meantime, what are you checking for to know if it’s time for a change?