Who here knows me well? Raise your hand! Then you know that I’m not a morning person. In fact, I’m very far from. I’m grumpy, bleary-eyed, and generally cranky in the mornings. Can you imagine me getting up at 5am everyday to write?
Neither could I until November of last year (2013). I was working on revisions to RELEASED and trying to fit them in in the evenings after the kids went to bed each night. But my brain was foggy each evening. Some nights I would just sit and stare at my computer for hours, not writing or accomplishing anything. After a long day of being a mom, running around, writing while the kids were at school some days, and exercising, all I wanted to do was relax on the couch. In fact, I deserved to relax on the couch! :) But that didn’t excuse the work I still had to do to remain on schedule.
A while back, I wrote about my problems with insomnia which is something I still struggle with unfortunately. I do have to take a lot of things each night to sleep (melatonin and Benadryl) but it’s gotten better. I can now count on 5-6 hours of sleep per night where I used to get 3 or 4 hours. A big difference for me! So I was “sleeping” from 11pm to 6am everyday. If you count that up, it’s 7 hours, but it’s not because everyday I was waking around 4am and then tossing and turning for two hours. What’s the point of that, right?
And that was how my 5am writing lifestyle was born. I would wake at 4am, try to sleep until 5am, and get out of bed. Now I work from 5am to 6:30am when I can shower and then get the kids to school. And, go figure, my brain wakes up at 5am easily. I’m not foggy, not tired. I’m awake and raring to go! I open my computer, get my heated blanket across my lap, a bottle of water, and get right to it. Once everyone is awake, I make tea and have breakfast.
And I actually love it. By 7am each morning, I’ve accomplished a ton. And if I don’t have errands to run while the kids are at school, I can exercise or even work some more and feel like the day has launched on the right foot. The best part of waking at 5am each day is that I can do it or not. The only thing that stands in the way is sickness, really. If one my kids is sick and up early or if I’m not feeling well, the 5am wakeup can be moved. Whereas if I tried to do it in the evening, I would have to contend with my own tiredness, socializing with my husband, cleaning up the house, or any number of things that come up in the evenings around here.
Now I go to bed each night, my head hits the pillow, and I’m out. Sometimes I catch up on sleep over the weekend but not always. This new routine has been a revelation to me!
Are there any other early risers out there? There’s a @5amwritersclub on Twitter I belong to that does writing sprints in the early morning. I haven’t participated yet because I’m working on FACE TIME revisions and blog posts for my upcoming blog tour. But once I’m back and working on Nogiku Book 3, you better believe I’ll be sprinting with everyone at 5am!