When not writing about diversity with chances of explosion, I’m a teacher. Which means I get up pretty damn early. At 5:30 to be technical, but after various intervals of hitting the snooze button and hurling abuse at my phone, it’s really more like 6 until I drag myself out of bed in the morning.
Lately I’ve returned to making slightly better use of that extra time in the morning and exchanged grumping about getting up for getting up an extra half hour early to write instead. Yes, that means dragging my tired ass out of bed at 5 a.m. Yes, I often question the sanity of this, as do any of my colleagues, let alone students I tell about this.
Why? Yeah, I ask myself the same thing, usually right after my alarm rings at 5 a.m. and I am very much tempted to be weak and turn around to snooze, just for five more minutes.
Anyway, remember my 4 a.m. experiment last year? Let’s face it, 4 a.m. is a bit extreme, if not to say cruel and unusual punishment.
But 5? That’s more doable, especially considering that one, it’s only half an hour earlier than I would get up already and two, I usually can get around the same amount of wordage in within just one hour that I could in one-and-a-half or two.
Coffee and a fresh brain in the morning help a lot. That’s what it comes down to. In the end, my brain is clear and productive first thing in the morning, if only I can make myself get with it and focus. Thankfully, my Keurig brews coffee quickly, so between black coffee and getting my butt into my writing chair, usually I can tackle words for a solid 45 minutes to an hour first thing in the morning.
All things considered, early mornings are probably some of my most productive time, because unlike after a long teaching day, my brain isn’t completely exhausted from all the other things that demand brain space–and demand it loudly–during a busy day teaching.
So, yes, it might be a sign of questionable sanity, but in my case that’s just a given. Yes, it makes my already long day start earlier and busier. Yes, it means I better be in bed by 11, better by 10 at the latest, but in the end having written first thing in the morning just starts the day off right for me. More importantly, it does away with excuses.
It makes me think of James Rhodes’ take on creativity, as illustrated by Zen Pencils “Is That Not Worth Exploring?”
My answer? Yes, it’s hard. But it’s so worth it.
Even better when, like now, I have an extra hour or so in the evening to add even more wordage.
In that sense, happy writing!