It’s no secret that highly successful people have specific morning routines they follow meticulously. These activities are performed habitually; they help determine the tone for the rest of the day and set the doer up for success. Highly successful writers fall into this group of dedicated routine-followers. Although each will likely tweak his or her morning according to their particular wants/needs/schedules/lifestyle, many of the most successful methods contain similar elements. Let’s take a look at some characteristics of a ready-for-action morning routine:

1. Out of Bed Early

The early bird gets the worm–and the early writer adds more writable minutes to their day! That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get up early to write (although you certainly can, especially if you have a “real” job to get to and you’re writing in your spare time.) Many suggest 5 AM as a good wakeup time — mine is 5:30. Adjust this time to make it right for you. Some people are night owls and these are not going to be easy to wake at the crack of dawn. Others have scheduling conflicts. The point is, get up earlier than you’d like.

2. Clear Your Head

I take a few minutes to meditate and I suggest you do, too. I use a lovely timer app on my phone called Insight that plays a gentle bell sound at whatever interval I choose. You don’t have to sit for an hour — even 5 minutes will help center you and get you ready for your day.

3. Exercise/Start Thinking

Now that you’ve eased yourself into wakefulness, it’s time to get up and go! I usually make myself what I call my “morning drink” (2 cups water, 1 T organic vinegar, juice of 1 lemon, sprinkle of cinnamon, sprinkle of cayenne pepper, a few gratings of fresh ginger, and ice — in case you wanted to know) which primes my stomach for digestion and revs my metabolism. Next, I do some yoga stretches OR go for a walk. Some of you may want a more vigorous workout, but I find that my body just isn’t ready for that much trauma in the morning. If I choose to walk, I listen to personal development or instructional audio that starts my wheels turning and often gives me fresh ideas for each day.

4. Clean Up, Refuel

After a workout, I take a quick shower and then make breakfast. If you haven’t listened to something illuminating while you exercise, now’s the time. You can learn while you shower, cook, and eat! Try to eat something that is a good combination of fats, slow carbs, and protein to fuel your writer’s brain.

5. Dress for Success — Even at Home!

I can’t stress this enough. Treat your writing like a real profession and it will be one. Treat it like a hobby and it will stay one! When you get ready to start your day, dress like the professional you are. You don’t have to wear a business suits or heels, but you should look put together. Put socks and shoes on your feet, even though you may be tempted to stay in your slippers. Ditch the sweat pants for jeans or khakis and put a fresh, crisply ironed shirt on. If you’re a woman, accessorize with jewelry or a bright scarf. Apply makeup if you wear it. If you are having trouble being productive, I guarantee you will be amazed at the impact this simple tip will have on your output. Of course, if you work well in your fluffy bunny slippers and bathrobe (and some writers do), please continue!

6. Get Organized

This is a critical step, one that many writers overlook: Make sure your writing space is organized before you sit down to begin your day. It’s much too easy to procrastinate putting finger to keyboard when you have ready-made excuses for delay: I need some water. My feet are cold. Where are my highlighters? Get everything sorted out first; preferably the night before–then sit down to write.

7. Put Necessities First

Do you remember my post about the “three little things” being the key to a successful writing career? If not, read it here and then come on back. Every evening before your head hits the pillow, write your “three little things” for the following day. These are the things you will get done first. If nothing else in the whole universe gets done, these will! After that, you can tackle tasks as you like, but always make these a priority. That way, you’ll be guaranteed that each day will bring you three steps closer to the goals you’ve set for your writing career!

8. Enjoy a Productive Day, Writers!

No matter how you arrange your morning, having a structured routine will help you increase your productivity and get you closer to your goals. Structure can be calming, centering, and comforting. It provides the perfect set-up for a day filled with creativity and…you guessed it — writing!

See you on the next page!

Nikki Bee

Originally published at