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How My Mountain Rooster Helps Me Write

A few months ago my wife and I got a dog. She's a little thing...half dachshund and half chihuahua. At 6'2", I stand much taller than she does, and so does my wife, my nieces, and the chipmunks in my backyard.

I doubt you'd be surprised to learn that she's quickly become our friend and companion. But you may be surprised to find out that over the last month and a half she's helped me become a more efficient and effective writer.

As strange as it sounds, she's given me more time. It's not magic. It's routine.

She gets up every morning around 5 AM. Instead of ignoring her, I get up with her. My lovely wife somehow "doesn't hear". She -- my dog-- has become my mountain rooster.

This inhumane time of the day actually works in my favor. I'm much more awake in the morning. (Just ask my students about that one time we had drama class before 10 AM--I was a mix between Dick Van Dyke and Lin-Manuel Miranda.)

I now have a routine.

Feed the dog.

Make coffee.

Read Scripture.

Write in my journal.

Write in my blog.

It's remarkable how doing the same thing everyday becomes easier and easier the more you do it. And the reading, journaling, blogging has become more enjoyable.

For those of you, my friends, who live even more hectic lives than I do with kids and challenging jobs, I recommend you reading my interview with Marian Jacobs. She's a wife of one, mother of three, and a prolific writer. Her tips for getting words on the page are very helpful! Read it here.

I don't think it matters what your routine is as long as it gets you writing. If you still can't find a routine, maybe you just need to get a mountain rooster.


Dane Bundy is president of Stage & Story and cast chaplain at LifeHouse Theater in Redlands, CA.


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