“How Do You Keep Up With All This Writing?”



45 Days. 45 Posts.

My friend Jake recently asked:

“Holy cow! How do you keep up with all that writing?”

I am always writing. I’m just not always typing.

I’m typing this before a client meeting – sitting in their parking lot – using my index finger on the WordPress app on my phone.

I wrote it – in my imagination – in the interstitial between dropping my son off at school and here. It’s two Thursdays before you’re reading this.

I had the idea for this post – and scheduled it for today – three weeks ago when Jake asked the question. I have a schedule for posts through the end of first quarter.

I am always writing. I’m just not always typing.

(At this point, I’m stopping and saving and going into my meeting … it’s now 26 hours later, and I’m in my office to finish typing.)

For me, ideas aren’t the problem. Coming to grips with the fact that anyone besides my mom would care about these ideas has been the problem.

Typing them out every day, finishing them and publishing them on my blog has been the remedy.

It’s changed the way I work and the way I feel.

It’s made me much more mindful of not only the blog, but my commitments to my work, my faith and family, and my place in the world.

For years, I did my typing in the early early morning. Now, instead, I use that most sacred of times for mental exercise, reflection, and mindfulness. So, yes, I still write in the wee small hours of the morning. I rarely type during this time anymore.

Anymore, I find it doesn’t matter when I type. Pros don’t need to wait for inspiration to finish the work.

It doesn’t mean my mornings aren’t sacred.

My Morning Routine

5:00 AM

I wake. It’s dark. It’s quiet.

I sit by the fireplace in an overstuffed big chair with my iPad.

I drink strong coffee. No TV. No music.

I read:

My own post that published at 0330 CT and was just emailed out at 0500 CT- I make any last second improvements that the benefits of stepping away from it have revealed.

I read a chapter of one of the six books I’m enjoying at the moment.

I read Michael.

I read Godin.

I read Jon Acuff.

If it’s Monday, I read Roy.

I read anything my partners have written.

Then I read anything whose headline looks interesting in my blogroll (using Reeder on my iPad), then check through Zite, then check through Twitter.

I do not read the news. I do not check email.

I’m going to be start reading The Bible again, but I’m debating between the KJV and the NIV. Do you have a preference?

I use Instapaper to save articles for later.

I use Evernote to save everything else for later.

I am writing. I’m just not typing.

My son comes upstairs and snuggles in next to me around 0600.

We play Battleship or NBA Jam (with the classic expansion pack so Daddy can be Larry Bird) or The Game of Life. Or he tells me about outer space or roller coasters or NASCAR. Or he asks about the feasibility of jetpacks and stuff.

I love my life. I love my ritual. I love my new habit. This has not always been so.

How about you? Do you have rituals? Are your wee small hours in the morning or evening?

What rituals do you hold sacred?

Why don’t you write them out? Later, when you type them, I’d love to have a look. In the meantime, have a great week!

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As CEO and Head Custodian of Miles & Company, Tim Miles helps owner-operated companies do more with less. He's the author of Good Company: Making It, Keeping It & Being It.

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Good advice? Please share. Thanks!
  • http://CarlinComm.com/ Carlin

    You’re making great use of the time!

    I’ve not been blogging / writing much the last year, but something I’m doing for capturing the ideas I have when I’m away from my computer, is either email a note to myself from my smart phone, or use the audio recorder function, to dictate a note, and then email that to myself. Its a bit easier than trying to touch type on my smart phone.

    I absolutely agree with your idea of having a routine or ritual. That’s what I’m not doing lately. And I miss it!

    Thanks for all your writing, and for sharing your routine. Its helpful to understand the hows and the whys behind the actions!

    Best Wishes

    • http://timmilesandco.com/about Tim

      I’m writing a little about this tomorrow – this idea of capture. I totally agree. I’ve got a couple things I use all the time on my phone to keep up. MyMail and Dragon Dictate. I need to empty my brain of its ideas, so more stuff can take its place. : )

  • Tom Cadwallader

    If you want to read the Bible on a regular basis, try SacredSpace.ie which is the website of the Irish Jesuits. Each day there is a guided contemplation of the daily reading assigned for that day. The daily readings are pretty much the same for all faiths. The neat part of Sacred Space is the “need inspiration” button under each reading. The comments or questions by the Jesuits, just two, help me see the passages in a whole new light. Try it. I think you’ll like it. It will be very convenient on your Ipad.

    My thanks, too, for all your writings that I seen so far as a relative newcomer to your blog.

    • http://timmilesandco.com/about Tim

      Very cool suggestion, Tom. I wasn’t aware of the ole’ Irish Jesuits … but don’t tell my mom, okay. (We are very, very Irish – made our pilgrimage there in August.)

  • Mark Mills

    It’s hard to choose between the New International Version and the King James. My first inclination was to suggest the King James because of its more classical English translation that makes me stop and think a bit more about what exactly is being said, but I also enjoy the more straight-forward, contemporary approach of the NIV.

    Here’s an example from the 12th chapter of Romans:
    KJV: 6Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. 9Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

    NIV: 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. 9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

    I’ll throw in a 3rd choice, the New King James Version: 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. 9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.

    Great stuff in the Daily Blur!!

    • http://timmilesandco.com/about Tim

      I really, really appreciate your insight, Mark. Thanks for sharing!

  • Scotty

    For Bible reading, I go back and forth. I read NIV and TNIV when I’m trying to study. But I often just enjoy the beauty of the language of the KJV. But beware with the King James, being a midwest boy, you may find yourself humming “In The Garden”, “The Old Rugged Cross”, or “Bringing In The Sheaves” the rest of the day. “We shall come rejoicing bringing in the sheaves…”

    • http://timmilesandco.com/about Tim

      Tim Miles likes sheaves.

  • Manley Miller


    #1 Reason not to read KJV “Superfluity of Naughtiness” – James 1:21 – Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

    #1 Reason to read KJV “Bowel Smoting” – 2 Chronicles 21:18 – And after all this the LORD smote him in his bowels with an incurable disease.

    I don’t know what it means to be smote in your bowels but I’m pretty sure it’s high on the ways not to kick the bucket list.

    That being said – Read NLT. Memorize KJV. NIV is a weasel bible. It tries to be dynamic and word for word – and becomes neither.

    • http://timmilesandco.com/about Tim

      You are not normal, sir. And I mean that as the highest possible praise.