For some time, I’ve been getting up early. (Most happy writers write in the morning; unhappy writers write whenever they feel like it.) I know this won’t make me a Proust (or a Tolstoy), but there is something satisfying about starting the day, let’s say, intentionally. “Writing,” I once said, “is one of the most deliberate things we do,” and doing it as the first intellectually demanding task of the day just somehow feels right. It makes you feel like a writer. Having written something in the morning, you can go through the rest of the day with a distinct sense of accomplishment, the feeling that you are in fact “contributing to the literature”, that you are part of the conversation. You can look your peers in the eye and tell them what you think now because you have made a serious attempt to articulate what you know. To be sure, our writing doesn’t always succeed, but you can earn even your failures — the seriousness of the writing the moment — simply by being deliberate about it. Decide the day before what you will write and when you will write it. Then give yourself a good morning.