Fiction Inspirational Speculative

Day -1

A day before the challenge begins.

Dear Diary,

Tomorrow will be the first day of my month-long challenge that I have planned for weeks. I have set a goal to wake up at 5 a.m. every morning and write a thousand words toward finishing the first draft of my romance novel. Over the past few weeks, I was torn between a few equally fascinating writing prompts, but I ultimately settled on one with the title 'A Dance in the Moonlight.'

Since I usually stay up late, waking up early every morning is challenging. This will require a significant change in my sleep schedule. No more negative thoughts.

I am determined to stick to my plan and complete this challenge no matter how hard it can get. I hope this experience helps me become a more disciplined writer and develop better habits in my daily life. Wish me good luck!

It's quarter to midnight. Despite going to bed before 11:00, I am wide awake and unable to fall asleep. I hope I don't fail on the first day of my challenge. No more whining and no more blue light to disrupt my night's sleep. Good night.

Day 1

Dear Diary,

My peaceful sleep was interrupted by the piercing sound of my phone's alarm, which rang at 5 a.m., forcing me to wake up. Initially, I was tempted to hit the snooze button and fall back into a deep slumber, but I resisted the urge and stayed awake. I forced myself to get out of bed, exhausted, with heavy eyes and a foggy brain.

I stumbled towards the bathroom and splashed handfuls of cold water on my face to jolt my sleepy brain cells awake. The street was peacefully quiet, interrupted only by the occasional cheerful chirping of birds welcoming the looming rising sun. I clumsily made a cup of instant coffee and headed to my dining table, which also works as my work desk. Then I powered up my laptop, created a new Word document, and typed 'A Dance in the Moonlight' at the top of the page using a large, bold font.

As I sipped my coffee, I gazed at the computer screen, trying to come up with the perfect opening line. After a prolonged period of indecision, I finally wrote the first sentence but deleted it a few minutes later as it didn't sound right. At around 6:30 a.m., my mind finally decided to cooperate.

By 8 a.m., I had only written around five hundred words, forming lousy sentences that didn't align with my writing style. I fell five hundred words short of my first day's goal, but it was time to prepare for work. Exhausted and discouraged by failing to write the planned thousand words, I left my home and walked toward the bus station.

Day 2

Dear Diary,

Since I couldn't sleep until midnight, waking up this morning was even more difficult than yesterday. Last night, I caught up with my old friends over dinner and then hit the town for drinks. Changing my routine to wake up early requires lifestyle changes and sacrifices I'm not ready to make yet. Going out at night no longer fits with my new lifestyle.

Once more, with my coffee in hand, I walked up to my table and sat in front of my laptop, staring at the blank Word document. To jumpstart my creative thinking, I revisited the writing I had completed yesterday. To be completely honest, I despised every bit of the writing as if it were written by someone other than me. By 8 a.m., I had only revised my previous day's writing. However, I could expand it to a length of 800 words. When I left for work, I was 1200 words short of my goal for the second day of my challenge.

Day 7

Dear Diary,

It's hard to believe it's already been a week since I started this challenge. I began sleeping earlier, and waking up at 5 a.m. has undoubtedly become easier. I'm also feeling less restless at work. Yet, my writing brain willfully opposes the change. Each morning, I find myself spending a long time staring at my blank Word document, waiting for my stubborn mind to function. My writing progress over the past week was disappointing, as I only achieved writing around 3000 words, far below my intended target.  

Day 15

Dear Diary,

I am halfway through the challenge, and I must admit, it's becoming easier to wake up early with each passing day. Although I believe that early morning is the most productive time for writing, I can't help but feel that it doesn't work for me. I have been making little progress in my writing for the past two weeks. There may be two distinct genetic predispositions regarding sleep patterns: individuals who are naturally early risers and those who are naturally inclined to stay up late. When I think about my past, I remember taking advantage of the quiet at night to study. In college, I frequently went on late-night adventures. These memories reinforce my belief that I am naturally inclined towards a nocturnal lifestyle.

I finally broke my writing block today by writing over a thousand words, precisely 1236 words, which I haven't achieved in the past two weeks. However, I'm still quite far from reaching my target goal for the fifteenth day of my challenge.

Day 20

Dear Diary,

Yesterday was my mother's birthday. Last night, my siblings and I treated her to a fancy restaurant and stayed out until very late. So, getting up early this morning was quite a struggle. Once my phone alarm sounded, I wanted to hit the off button and return to sleep. However, I couldn't forgive myself for failing a thirty-day challenge on its twentieth day. I left the bed an hour later than planned, and even a strong cup of coffee didn't improve my gloomy mood. I wasn't mentally prepared to sit down and write. Instead, I stayed tuned to the TV news until I departed for work. My writing productivity for today was nil.

Day 30

Dear Diary,

I am proud of myself for persevering and completing the thirty-day challenge. Waking up at 5 a.m. is much easier than before, but I had to sacrifice my social life to reach this point. I haven't seen most of my nocturnal friends, and if I continue this new lifestyle, I will lose them all. Although I've made some progress with my creative writing in the morning, it's still nowhere near my nighttime writing. So, this month-long trial proved this lifestyle is not for me. I am nocturnal, and waking up this early is against my nature. I'm glad I've completed my thirty-day challenge and can finally stop waking up early.

Day 31

Dear Diary,

My eyes popped open precisely at 5 a.m. this morning, even without setting an alarm. I gave up on trying to fall back asleep after ten minutes and got out of bed. Holding a cup of coffee, I went to my table and sat in front of my laptop. In no time and with ease, my fingers swiftly moved across the keys, effortlessly bringing words and sentences to life without burdening my creative mind. By 8 a.m., I had written nearly three thousand words and knew there was more to come. However, I had to stop to avoid being late for work. Today was my most productive writing day ever.

January 16, 2024 10:52

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Sarah Hammontree
20:54 Mar 13, 2024

The day 31 entry actually made me laugh out loud. A story I can relate to, for sure. This was an enjoyable read.


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Mary Bendickson
19:17 Jan 22, 2024

When you relax and don't force or worry about something it comes more naturally. Isn't that the way it is. Thanks for liking my 'Where the Can Opener?' And 'All for Science'


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