How Getting Up To Write Early In The Morning Saved My Life
Getting up to write early in the morning didn't just make me a better writer – it saved my life.
Geez, just reading that sentence again makes me seem melodramatic! But it's true. For two or three years – maybe longer – getting up to write early in the morning was a big "hell no" for me. Instead, I was a night owl. I used the hours of 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. to write my best stuff.
And it wasn't just once or twice a week. It was more like five or six nights a week.
I did it to avoid the typical distractions that come with trying to get stuff done during the day. Things like meetings, phone calls, emails, text messages – you know the drill. On top of that, Edit This® was growing. I found that I was highly productive at night, and compared with early risers (they write between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m.), I was just as creative.
I know this because I tried it. It just didn't work for me. Writing at night was the way to go!
There was just one problem. Well, more like several. While I was churning out great content and was proud of my work, I noticed a few things:
My sleep schedule was out of whack. I was a zombie during the day, to the point where those who knew me kept saying, "You look so tired." And they were right! I was averaging three or four hours of sleep a night.
I was relying on caffeine (Monster energy drinks and Coca-Cola).
I was gaining weight. By working late at night, I was too tired during the day to go to the gym or jog outside for a few miles.
I was sitting or lying down all the time.
I didn't feel like myself. I was irritable, and my patience was constantly thin.
I wasn't with my family. I'd get the boys in bed and kiss my wife goodnight, but then it was off to do whatever I needed to get done.
Making the switch to being an early riser
When you're used to staying up late to write nearly every night, it can be almost impossible to break that cycle. I knew that I needed to, but staying up late to write was like a drug. I was hooked. So what helped me make the switch to getting up to write early in the morning?
The coronavirus pandemic.
With schools out and everyone suddenly asked to shelter in place, I realized quickly that my current work schedule wasn't going to fly. No longer was I only responsible for myself during the day. The kids were home, my wife was working from home like I was, and we needed to be a team if we were going to homeschool the boys and still get work done.
Rather than write at night, I set my alarm for 4:45 a.m. and began getting up to write early in the morning. By 5 a.m., I was downstairs in my office with my laptop and a big glass of water.
As you can imagine, here's what happened:
I got a better night's sleep (usually in bed by 9:45 p.m.)
I still had my quiet time to work, but I was more active and alert throughout the day as opposed to feeling like I was sleepwalking.
I wasn't relying on caffeine to power through a few extra blogs or articles.
I felt more like myself again.
I was present with my family.
Admittedly, I wrote even better than before.
With all of that being said, there are advantages to writing at night. Plenty of people do it, and I can see myself doing it again if the situation warrants it. What I won't do is ignore healthier alternatives like getting up to write early in the morning.
The key is to find what works for you and approach it in a healthy way. For example, if I know I need to stay up late to get work done, I will choose a night where I know I can sleep later the next morning. I also won't do it five or six nights out of the week.
As far as getting up to write early in the morning goes, it's easy because I go to bed at a respectable hour. I also place the alarm on the windowsill about five feet away from our bed. It forces me to get out of the bed to turn it off, and when I'm up, I'm up.
Call Edit This for all your writing and editing needs
I'm curious to know what works for you? Are you an early bird or a night owl? Do you notice any negatives to getting up to write early in the morning? How about any positives? Please send me an email or message on social media. I'd love to hear from you!
Regardless of whether you're an early bird or night owl, if you don't prefer to spend those hours writing your own content, now is the perfect time to call Edit This.
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Our writing and editing services cover clients nationwide but are local to anyone in Denton, Corinth, Lake Dallas, Shady Shores, Hickory Creek, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Highland Village, Argyle, and the rest of DFW.
*STEVE GAMEL is the President & Owner of Edit This, a writing and editing services company located in Denton, TX. Steve handles anything involving the written word. Give him a call today to help give your business a clear voice.