Years ago, Gloria Estefan advised me that the rhythm was gonna get me (I think she may have been broadcasting the same message to other people at the same time, but I can’t be sure). Well, you know what? The rhythm just did. In the early days of my ghostwriting routine, I was getting around the dance floor well enough, but my toes were getting bruised and I had a sneaking suspicion I was keeping two-four time while the band was playing a waltz. At last I’m in the groove.
My dance routine – sorry, writing routine – is now largely confined to the early morning, and no longer impacts heavily on my weekend. I get up between 5.00 and 5.30am and usually get between 1,000 and 1,500 words down before starting the day job. A mug of strong coffee helps no end. Its my magic hour. There’s inevitably a little mopping up to be done outside these times, but it’s usually minimal.
The weird thing is, while my schedule feels more relaxed, I actually feel I’m working harder. Magic hour is also a workout. Some folk go to the gym before work; I travel to a fantasy world where fascinating characters are doing extraordinary things. It doesn’t build muscle, but I do break a sweat. The contradictory truth is that, as much as I find the process of writing exhausting, it also invigorates me. It always has.
It probably helps that I’m now over halfway through the book. Psychologically that’s a positive thing. Narratively too. This being an epic fantasy tale, there is, of course, a big battle looming. Wheels are turning. Characters are converging upon one another. Sparks are beginning to fly. The energy in the outline is flowing not only into the prose I’m putting down, but also into me.
Or maybe it’s the coffee.