How to use cycle syncing for writing a first draft

When I first heard about biohacking, my mind went straight to a utopia/dystopia science fiction world. However, it is much more down-to-earth and revolves more around aligning the body to both inner and outer conditions. For women, this includes the menstrual cycle. Syncing up with this cycle makes it possible to tap into the natural highs and lows in energy levels. As one who loves planning and productivity hacks, in this blog post, I show how I have tried to use cycle syncing for writing a draft.

(Disclaimer | As a true Gemini I dabble in numerous interests. One of them is the connection between mind, body, and soul. However, I am not a doctor, coach, or trained healer, so if you find anything of interest or if it stirs up issues, look to trained professionals for further information).

Free printable for download at the end of this blog post

The first part of the cycle is the menstrual phase. Here it is advised to rest and reflect. Energy levels are low. Then comes the follicular phase and with energy rising it is time to try new things. When the third ovulatory phase comes it feels natural to make connections. Finally, coming all the way around, the fourth luteal phase invites some nesting time. ( I first learned about biohacking from the coach Angela Foster so if you want to know more about the phases and hormonal changes I suggest going to her blog)

Here on the blog, I have shared printables with word count tracking. I find this helpful at times, especially for NaNoWriMo but truth be told it doesn’t work for me in the long run. I believe in writing every day but not necessarily with the same fixed word count each day.

That is why I will give cycle syncing a chance. Batch creating is a great productivity hack, and this line of thinking goes well in hand with syncing up the monthly schedule. So here goes.

First, identify which project you will be working on. I am working on my memoir. And I will plan my writing and reading around this.

How I plan to use cycle syncing writing my first draft

Phase 1 – Rest and reflect

This month I started listening to The way to integrity by Martha Beck. She applies the story of Dante’s inferno to bring light to the process of moving from inner turmoil to peace. 

Writing this memoir has taken much longer than I anticipated. Both due to procrastination and life happening. But also because writing stirs up a lot of inner demons, and writing a memoir about hard times requires one to shed any cowardliness, as Virgil advised Dante to do before entering Hell.

I am proud of myself for doing this work. To tell the story to the best of my abilities, I turn inwards to recapture the story. But I also have to remind myself to turn inwards when I need to rest and reflect on where I am at and where I am going. My word count this week, therefore, is 600 words a day. I cuddle up with an easy read to rest. 

Phase 2 – New things

I just moved to a new area, so everything feels new. Now I have to figure out how to apply it to writing my memoir. I am still exploring the neighborhood.

I am writing this blog post at the waterfront of a new cafe. I wrote my first attempt at a book in Stockholm close to the water. Stirring up all the emotions returning to writing my story, it makes sense that this book should be written sitting next to the ocean. So I hope for an Indian summer and plan to write at the beach and by the harbor in my notebook. If fall comes early, I will revisit the café and type away on my laptop.

As the energy level rises, I will write 1200 words each day and make time to read Dante’s Divine Comedy.

Phase 3 – Connect

I would never hesitate to cheerlead anyone who wants to tell their story. I believe in the magic of stories when we relate to each other and the world through telling them.

Still, resistance lingers when it comes to writing down my own. I judge, I doubt, and I fear. Then I know it is time to connect with others who have already walked the road.

As mentioned, I am in the process of listening to The Way of integrity by Martha Beck. She offers the suggestion of a soul teacher. Since the publication date, I have wanted to read Cassandra speaks by Elizabeth Lesser. Her book Broken open, offered itself as a soul teacher in my mid-twenties, and I have a strong inkling that this book about storytelling by women will do the same.

I know books are a very introverted way to go about connecting with others, so I am also planning to engage more socially with the book café I found in my new nearby city.
To work gently with the doubt and worries, I will write 600 words each day, and if Cassandra fires me up, I will allow more words to come. I am also reading A Life’s Work by Rachel Cusk.

Phase 4 – Nesting

Nesting, to me, means setting up my workspace. It also means cuddling up with a good book. This week I am reading The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula le Guin. It is also her that will inspire how I set up my week. David Streitfeld shares her work schedule in the introduction to The Last Interview: and other conversations.

  • 5.3o am – wake up and lie there and think
  • 6.15 am – get up and eat breakfast (lots)
  • 7.15 am get to work writing writing writing
  • Noon – lunch
  • 1 – 3 pm – reading and music
  • 3-5 pm – correspondence maybe house cleaning
  • 5 – 8 pm – make dinner and eat it
  • After 8 pm – I tend to be very stupid and we won’t talk about this

I have a toddler to look after, so my take on this schedule is to write from 9 am – 12 am and read from 1 pm – 2.30 pm. I am turning parts of our dining room into a writing space by setting up the computer and making it a cozy corner where I hope to reach 1200 words each day.

So there you have it – this is how I use cycle syncing for writing a frist draft. If you want to try it out yourself download the free printable below (no email asked)

Free printable to sync up your writing

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