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tinker As many of you know, I have been waking up early in the morning to work on my novel. I've been doing it 73ish days now, a fact amazes me, and annoys me. Yes, as it turns out, you can annoy yourself.

Thing is, these early mornings have been wonderful for me. I have made steady progress on my book and I have been a happier person. Perhaps unsurprising, but when you begin each day doing something you love deeply, the rest of the day takes on a nicer tone. The flip side: If I miss my morning session, I become irritable and cranky. Indeed something to work on because life is life and there will be mornings I want to, and must, sleep in.

Each day, when I'm finished writing, I write a little update, a little account of my writing that day, how smooth or not-smooth it was, what questions occurred to me, what literary lesson alighted. If you are on Facebook or Instagram, you have seen these updates, I imagine.

Every. Single. Day.

I apologize if they annoy you. Sometimes, they annoy me. And I step outside myself and I think, Enough is enough. We get it. You are disciplined. You wake up early. You write. Stop yakking and waxing philosophical. Where is the book already?

But I'm not willing to stop doing this, to stop indulging in these daily meditations on what I've written, on how my writing went that day. These updates are hugely helpful for me. They are treats. They help me process things, things both in my book and in my life. And I have heard from many of you that you like these little recaps, that they offer something, that you look forward to them.

And so. What I've decided is that I will post the updates here, on the blog. If you want to see them, you will come here and see them or you can subscribe via RSS or have them plop into your Inbox. But they will not be shoved in your face on a Facebook or Instagram feed. I feel good about this. It seems less annoying.

Here was my update this morning. Fittingly, it was about tinkering with things:

Day 73: Dragged some waking up. Stood in my bathroom, said 4 words to myself: "today will be better..." My days are better when I begin with writing. Made a small change this morning, one inspired by @daniwriter (Dani Shapiro) I did not look at my phone at all before writing. Left it far away, charging. Instead, just poured coffee, read a few pages of a good novel, plunged into writing my own. It made a difference. My mind was in it, less distracted. Things were clearer. In writing & life, I think it's important to tinker with things big & small, to try to figure how we work best on the page, in the world. Monday is calling. Have a good one, guys.

That's what I'm doing today, and constantly. Tinkering with things. Thinking about what works, what doesn't, what I need more of in my life, less of. More writing. Less annoying. More workouts. Less wine. More in-person coffees. Less onscreen hypnosis. More page. Less phone. You get the picture...

... I hope.

Oh, and I plan to spend time over the next few days retro-publishing all of my previous 72 updates here under a new as-yet-unnamed category so you can go back and read 'em. Or not.

Hope the week is off to a good start! And thanks for all the lovely birthday wishes.

Have you ever annoyed yourself? Are there certain things on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram that annoy you? Do you believe in existential tinkering?

Day 75: Body & Mind

A Letter To My 35-Year-Old Self