I’ve never been much of a morning person. Even when I was younger, I always wanted to squeeze more time into the day by staying up as late as possible. I could get up when I needed to, of course, but I never went to bed thinking, “Man, I can’t wait for that alarm to go off at 6 AM.”
From a creative standpoint, I’ve always done most of my work late at night. When I worked a regular day job of some sort, I would squeeze my writing into the evening hours by necessity. Now that my schedule has flipped around to give me free time during the day, I’m having to adjust to being a morning writer. It’s been a big change, but I think I like it overall. There’s something to be said for being able to hit your writing target for the day before midday. Rather than stressing out later in the day and scrambling to make the most of rapidly dwindling time, I feel accomplished and able to focus on whatever else I need to get done for the day or plan for tomorrow.
The biggest challenge has been establishing discipline at the end of the day. Take last night for example. I should have gone to bed around 11:30 or midnight, but instead I was up until nearly 2 AM because I started working on a blog post that stretched on much longer than I originally intended. The lesson, I think, is to not start something I don’t think I can finish too close to bedtime. That might not have helped me last night, of course, because I totally thought I could finish yesterday’s post within an hour or so.
Waking up after four hours of sleep wasn’t a very fun exercise this morning, but I did at least manage to get my morning writing done, so I still feel ahead of things. I’m glad I’m not facing the stress of wondering if I’ll be able to fit the day’s writing into whatever time I end up having tonight.
I’m not sure if there’s a “writerly lesson” to be taken from this other than recognizing that sometimes it’s worth trying new approaches to your schedule (provided that’s possible given your work/personal life). You might find something that works better than you’d expect. I never would have expected that I’d find writing in the morning to be so productive. It may take me a few months of practice to eliminate my old night owl instincts, but I think I’m on a good path towards making that change.