Once upon a time, I got up at 5 a.m. just about every day, well before anyone in the house woke up. I wrote, I ran, I drank coffee — all before going in to the office. Aside from the looks of bewildered revulsion I got when I told people I got up at 5 a.m., life was pretty sweet.
Then my younger son decided that 5 or thereabouts was a fine time for him to get up, too. I was still able to drink coffee, but that was pretty much the end of my pre-dawn writing or running. So, I turned myself into a night owl, sleeping until close to 7 a.m. and staying up until midnight. And lo, I was productive again.
Well, that’s over with, it seems. Whatever nighttime mojo I had going for me for all those months has wafted away. Stringing thoughts together in a way that makes for a coherent manuscript just isn’t happening anymore after the kids go to bed. My intentions are good, but my mind is too weak at that hour to hold off a world (wide web) full of appealing distractions.
I’m tired. And when the end of my day arrives and I don’t have any writing to show for it, I don’t feel good at all.
So I’m making a conscious (and entirely voluntary) effort to switch back to morning personhood. So far (meaning, this morning), so good, though I have no intention of seeing 5 a.m. anytime soon. I hope, though, that in addition to making some progress on my current project, I’ll also enjoy the psychological benefit that comes from being able to say throughout the day — no matter what happens during the ensuing hours — “I’ve already written something today.”
I’ll also get to drink my coffee earlier.
I have the same problem. I’d love to work at night after the kids are asleep, but there is nothing left. And so I set the alarm for 4:55 am (so I can hit the snooze button once and still be at my desk by 5:15) and do my best.
So tomorrow when you are HATING this new morning plan, remember you aren’t alone. I hope that helps! And I hope the words come …
I have periods in the past when I used to wake at 5 am to exercise. I loved it at the time, but when I think back on them, I think I must’ve been driven to insanity by sleep deprivation.
But the coffee thing is definitely incentive.
OK, and then you can also have a coffee in the afternoon when you’re wilting because you got up so dang early. Right?
OK, it’s 5 a.m., and my coffee’s ready — where is everybody?
Liz, the sad thing is that I’ve stopped having my early-evening cup of coffee so that I’ll be able to get to sleep and get early.
People are different in the morning than in the afternoon.
When I was in Japan (which is 14 hours ahead) and I called back home, I found the conversations were very difficult because I was talking to a morning person when I was in the late evening. I realized that our brains behave completely different during different parts of the day, so I’m not surprised that you’ve had differing results.
Also, when I was jet lagged coming back, I would pad over to the local coffee shop. I was amazed how productive I was from 4-7 AM.
Um, well. There’s always very expensive decaf chai. And you’ll feel like you deserve it since you got up so early…
Still sawing logs, 2 hours away from my first cuppa, I’m afraid. I’ve tried the getting-up-early-to-write routine a few times, but wasn’t able to cut the day short enough at the other end to get the sleep I needed. Eventually, it caught up with me. Good luck to you. Let us know how it goes.
Oh, and hey…I’m tagging you with the Meme of Five http://fbayrock.blogspot.com/2008/05/tagged-again.html (Blame Emily at Emily Reads!). Enjoy.