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I challenged myself to a month of early bird writing – this is what happened next

Words by Yas Floyer

Like many writers, I have to fit my writing into the small pockets of time that happen around Real Life. The Real Life of working a full time job or having to take care of a family. Of having to let go of the ‘perfect conditions’ and just crack on with it in small bursts or late at night once the rest of the household exhales into a restful night’s sleep.

For a while, I have managed to get short stories written within the gaps unoccupied by teaching or my two children. My most recent published story was drafted on one go whilst they were in the shower because I am able to hold a short story in my head, walk around with it, turn it over and look at it before putting it onto the page.

But this won’t do for a novel. I have been carrying around an idea for a novel, have drafted it in fits and starts. If there is a name for the thing that comes before a first draft, then that is the thing that I have produced.

I teach on the days my youngest is at nursery and most evenings, too. I also teach on a Saturday so feel guilty for cutting into family time on Sundays to write, especially when the work I produce is guaranteed to be awful and will no doubt lead to nothing.

If I am being honest, I am held back by the thought that perhaps I am never going to be able to write this book of mine. What if I just can’t do it? In Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert says of perfectionism that, '…underneath that shiny veneer, perfectionism is nothing more than a deep existential angst that says, again and again, "I am not good enough and I will never be good enough".'

Gilbert also speaks of showing up for the Muse and making a commitment to your creative project and of the magic that can come from that. So I want to see what happens with my writing if I rise with the lark every day for four weeks.

Read: Am I A Genius And Wot R Whurds?

What if I became an early bi