I know most of you guys aren’t morning writers. Writing late at night, while the world is asleep, is capital-S-Sexy. You have 2 or 3 or even 4 hours of uninterrupted writing time—sleep be damned. As soon as you put the kids to bed and feed the Spousal unit, you’re off to punch those keys and put words on the page. Every night.
Well, let’s be honest—it never happens like that, right? Not every night. Either you’ve had a long day and you’re too tired to write, or little Timmy needs help with his science experiment, or the dog throws up on the couch, or whatever. Good or bad, all these things sap our time and energy to write.
Being a long-time late-night writer, I began writing in the mornings a few years ago. I went back to night writing after my daughter was born, but as of today, I’m two weeks into writing in the mornings again. And I love it.
I know you aren’t convinced. Neither was I at first. But here are some reasons why I love morning writing.
1) You can get it out the way. You know how it is when you have a long to-do list, and the thing you most want to do is at the bottom of the list, teasing and taunting you? For me, that most-loved thing is writing, and by moving it to the morning, I guarantee I can check it off my list. And at least for me, it makes my day go so much better.
2) It’s even better when you get to write at night, too. I don’t always get to write at night, but when I do, it’s like having ice cream for breakfast and cake for dessert—without the calories. It’s a win-win. (And don’t let me get started about when you write during lunch as well….)
3) I’m more productive. Yes, when that alarm clock goes off at 4:30, I am DEAD (Game of Thrones /Red Wedding dead). But by the time I’m at my desk, I’m ready to work. No one is posting on Twitter or Facebook that early in the morning, so it’s easy to stay on task. I’ve found that I can consistently crank out more in an hour and a half in the morning than I can in twice as much time at night.
4) My subconscious does a lot of the work for me. Aside from the occasional dream about me being stuck on the Poseidon or dating the Victoria’s Secret Angels (okay, maybe that one’s not so occasional), I dream a lot about my manuscripts. While many of those concrete details dissolve by the morning, the impressions of those dreams remain, and help to fuel my writing. I may not know what my characters were arguing about, but I know they were arguing, and that’s enough to suck me back into the manuscript.
5) Deadlines are your friend. When I know I only have 1.5 hours to write, I want to make it as productive as possible. Facebook and Twitter become less of a liability. (And like I said, no one’s posting there, anyway.)
6) Guess what—the world is still asleep at 5:00 AM. It’s just as quiet in the morning as it is at midnight. It still feels magical. It still feels like it’s just you and the manuscript, alone in the universe. (That is, until your kid wakes up because she lost her socks.)
Really I hope you try it. All you have to lose is a few hours of sleep.