Dan Callaway

Act | Sing | Teach | Write

God I’m a Writaaaaah!

I wake up around 5 am every morning to work on the musical I’m writing.

I am a morning person. My wifey is not.

I remember when I decided that my best time to write was real early in the morning. I woke up while it was still dark. Melissa rolled over and asked, “What are you doing?”

It sounded kind of like she had just asked me why I was wearing her pink plush robe singing “All By Myself” into her hairdryer.

That’s never happened.


But I have to say–that first morning when I decided to get up and write was exhilarating. (I just had to look up that spelling after about four failed attempts. Ding.)

I thought to myself, “Yeaaaah. I’m CRAZY enough to do this! I need to write, just like Rainer Maria Rilke talks about!”

I finished the first draft of the libretto a few weeks ago, and it felt great.

For reals, though, I mighta cried.

When I looked at my (what one of my heroes Anne Lamott calls) shitty first draft, I realized these pages of story grew one 45-minute sit-down at a time.

Over the course of a few months, I got to collaborate with my characters and form this kinda-wieldy ball of clay that we can shape into a coherent story.

Yesterday, I shared with a student that every morning when I wake up in the early hours my brain says, “Ummmm, maybe you wanna keep sleeping.”

That’s when I sing to myself….”God I’m a writah!”

Then I kinda chuckle, real quiet, you know. Then I go, “5-4-3-2-1,” give Melissa a lil kiss, quietly launch my butt outa bed, then I go write.

This amusing and dramatic quote from Cassie’s pivotal moment in A Chorus Line is also a conversation. “God, I’m a writer.”

It’s one of the things I believe God gave me a deep desire to do, to share stories.

One crucial point here. I set up the coffee pot the night before. Getting downstairs to a full pot of hot cawfee–this is key.

Forty-five minutes a day for a thing you’ve got the fire for makes a huge difference in just a few months.


  1. Commitment and dedication. That’s what gets it done. Now, as an unofficial proofreader, I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t point out that your last sentence is missing the word ‘a’. “Forty-five minutes a day for ‘a’ thing…”. Love you!

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