Monday, January 28, 2013

Early Bird or Night Owl?

There are a lot of books out there, full of advice and tips on how to fit writing into your daily routine.  One of the most popular suggestions is to get up extra early and write a little bit before you start your day.  On the face of it, this is good advice: first thing in the morning is a fresh slate, before the distractions of the day conspire to steal away your time.

Except... I am not a morning person.  I am the exact polar opposite of a morning person.  Even if I am forced to get up early, I will still stay up late at night because that's just how my circadian rhythm works.

I'm told I come by this naturally.  My mother assures me that even when I was in utero, I would stay up late and sleep in, so it's no surprise I still do. Weekends are my favorite part of the week, not because I'm off work, but because I can follow my preferred sleep schedule.  For me, the best writing time is at night, after I'm done with my day.  It's almost like a reward for getting through the other stuff that pulls at my time.  Plus, I spend the whole day mulling over the story, picking out words and phrases and getting them in order for when I sit down to commit them to paper.

My brain doesn't work very well in the morning, so I think if I were to try to write at that time, I'd wind up frustrated and exhausted.  I envy the people who can jump out of bed early and flip on that creative switch.

In the end, I think it's all about figuring out which time works best for you, and sticking with it.  So that's my question for you, dear readers. Are you a night owl like me, or do you work best in the early morning?

images from www.123rf.com

10 comments:

  1. I'm more of a morning person, though with two small children I write whenever I can which means either before they wake up, or after they go to sleep. No happy median here.

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    1. I can't imagine trying to fit writing in with little ones about--my hat's off to you!

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  2. I'm more of an early bird. I like weekend mornings when the rest of the house is asleep and I can enjoy the peace and quiet.

    I used to get up at 5am and write for an hour, but have gotten away from that. I'm not sure why, but whatever the reason, it's the key to getting back to it. It would behoove me to figure it out.

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    1. 5 am?! More power to you, Jen! [g]

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  3. Ha! What do you call a "middle of the day" writer? I have to get awake enough and write before I tire out. If there are any appointments in the middle of the day, say goodbye to any writing.

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    1. Middle of the day works... Now I just have to think of an appropriate bird analogy. [g]

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  4. Morning or mid-day is prime writing time for me. I used to be an absolute night owl, but having kids forced me to change. It took years for me to adjust, but now I'm ready for bed by 10 and wide awake well before the sun comes up.

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    1. I've heard your sleep schedule changes over the years, and I imagine having kids would accelerate that process. Some days I can go to bed early, but I never, and I mean never, get up early! [g]

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  5. Kudos to you for being who you are, Lara. One thing though, until I was 45 I was a night person, then one day I decided I needed more daylight, so -- you got it. I changed. Today I am up before the sun. If my mother were alive I'm sure she'd be amazed. I think if it works for you, great. I just happened to open myself for change one day and that worked too.

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    1. Just goes to show you how plastic the brain can be! Maybe one day I'll be a morning person too... [g]

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