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Are You A Morning Person Or A Night Person?

Let's discuss, if you care to! I was going to post about Korean food but then I realized that the post I had archived was already on my website. Lol. I have so much content I forget what I post! So let's talk about this instead.

I listen to a lot of podcasts on writing and marketing for authors. Authors always love to sit down and talk about their methods: how they write, what they write, and WHEN they write.

The WHEN always gets me because SO MANY writers talk about how they get up at 5am to write in the morning before anyone can intrude on their time. This is such a strong and pervasive writing theme that there's a group on Twitter devoted to it, the #5amwritersclub, and even I tried the whole writing/editing every day at 5am for a bit.

I have to admit that, even though I did do a stint where I woke up every day to work at 5am, it didn't last long. I was working on revisions to one of the Nogiku books (I think it was REUNITED), and I spent a good portion of the hour staring into space and yawning.


You have no idea what it takes to get me out of bed at 6:15am every day during the school year. Most days I do wake up before the alarm goes off, but I lie there, trying to motivate, going through email on my phone, staring into space, curling back up in a ball, and sometimes even drifting off again before I pull myself up and dress. By 7am, I'm only half functional, usually grunting my way through making breakfast for me and the kids. By 7:45am, I can be mostly human, packing lunches and repeating “GET READY FOR SCHOOL” over and over like a robot until we're out the door and walking by 8:15am.

When I hear about these morning authors, the ones who are up at 5am and working on their craft, I think, “YOU ARE CRAZY” before I think “I WISH I COULD DO THAT.” Because I tried and it just did not work. I got through those edits of REUNITED, and I went back to “sleeping in” till 6:15am. Fuck that, I said. Half the time I was lucky if I got ANYTHING done.

SJ Pajonas Write At The Edges Of The Day

So when I heard this quote from Toni Morrison, I remembered that there's an edge of the day that I like even better, nighttime. When the house is quiet and the kids are in bed, I work, just like I am right now, writing this blog post past 10pm on a weekday. I like to be in bed and lights out by 11pm, but that does leave me a few hours to get stuff done between 8:30pm and then. I actually do my best work in the late morning and right after lunch, but nighttime works really well for me too. I thrive at night, if I'm not dead tired, and during the summer even more so because I'm charged up by the sun and all the Vitamin D!

I've been learning good lessons about my writerly habits as of late. Not only am I a nighttime person, but I'm also a binge writer. I don't write my fiction every day, though I do write other things every day. I write my fiction in binges, like months of writing and then months of nothing. It can be a little disconcerting for sure, when I go months without something new, but I guess my habit of writing at the edges also includes this! I used to think I was a fairly moderate person, routine routine routine. And yes, I do like a good routine for normal life, but creative life needs room to expand and thrive. I do that at night and for months at a time until I'm spent! Funny how that happens, no?

You can answer this question even if you're not an author! Are you a morning person or night person?

12 thoughts on “Are You A Morning Person Or A Night Person?”

  1. 5 am is the middle of the night! To me, even 6 am is actually a tad too early, so I’m definitely not a morning person. I enjoy working/blogging in the evening too, and sometimes, I go to bed way too late. But in some ways, I’m not truly a night-person either. Like, I could go to bed early and still get up late :)
    Have a terrific Thursday, SJ!
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    1. I wish I didn’t have to wake up at 6am. That’s when my husband gets up and then the kids are up at 6:45am to get ready for school, so I have to. :( But I do love working in the late evening before bed. That’s usually a very productive time for me!

  2. I used to be a night owl. Gradually (post-menopause) I’ve become a morning lark. Not 5am, mind you. When I worked outside the home, I tried the 5am. Write before work, like some of my friends. Got a lot done. With retirement, I can write whenever I want. Morning is best. By evening, I’m brain dead. I never heard of binge writing. Great description. Good luck!

  3. I’m totally a night person, early mornings are not my thing and I tend to like writing in the middle of the day or at night. I can write in the morning but it wouldn’t be at 5am or anything like that! And I can kind of understand binge writing. They say you should write every day and I try to, in some form or other, but often I’ll go a few days (or longer) without writing and then an idea hits and it pours out.

    I think the creative impulse is so different for everyone. Although I could be more disciplined. :)

    1. Definitely the creative impulse is different for everyone, but I wonder if there’s some common ground between all these authors that DO wake up early to write at 5am. I wonder if they’re more successful, or more active people normally, or what!

      I definitely can’t write every day unless I’m in the middle of a draft. Once a draft is done, I’M DONE. Lol.

  4. I have always always always been a night person, but ten years of parenting have taken that away from me, and by the time dinner is over I no longer have any ability to use my brain. Unfortunately, I am still useless in the mornings, too. There is a small window in the middle of the day when I can write, and I haven’t figured out yet how to maximize it.

    1. That was me when the kids were younger, but I imagine that’s you still now because you homeschool, right? Now that I get a break in the day, I’m able to focus better. Plus the kids have set bedtimes.

      Still, I hate getting up in the morning! It’s my worst part of the day! Lol.

  5. I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON EITHER. There are times when I blog or write at 5 am, but that’s only because I still have not yet gone to sleep, hahaha. So that might give you an indication of how much not-a-morning person I am.

    I find it interesting though that you’ve heard about so many writers getting up to write in the morning because I’ve read about studies that showed that creative people are often night owls, that they feel more creative at night, and that definitely applies to me. Not that I have books written, but that’s when feel more creative, work on my blog design, write poems, etc. But to each his own, of course! Whatever works for each person is what they should do :-)

    1. I swear, I listen to SO MANY podcasts and almost every single author that comes on to speak talks about how they get up early to write at 5am. And I’m beginning to wonder if it’s a sign of success? Because all these authors are on podcasts because they’re talking about their tactics that got them to best seller (or close) status. Kind of makes me want to do a study on it… But doesn’t make me want to get up early. Lol.

  6. I am the same, I am not a morning person at all. At the moment I go to sleep at 3am or 4am and get out of bed at 1pm or 2pm. And I tell myself it’s okay as most of my costumers live in the US anyway.

    When I went to high school and Uni I had to stand up early, but I never liked it. I had a lot of headaches and trouble standing up. Less of that with my current sleep pattern.

    My most productive time is right before and right after dinner I think, but I work till as late as 1am or sometimes 2am when i am busy and still work well then too. I just try and do the most taxing work in the afternoon and right after dinner. The creative work (writing blog posts) usually somewhere after dinner.

    I never really thought of it, but with my blog posts I am binge writer as well. I often have one week at the end of the month where I write all 3 of the Lola’s Ramblings posts for next month, part of that is necessity/ work routine, but part is also that when i get in the flow I can stay there for a bit and than wave out of it again. Great post!

    Also I totally thought for a moment there you had written a new book as I didn’t recognize the cover, until i realized that was the Nogiku guidebook, lol. Which reminds me I still need to read that.

    1. Before I had kids, I definitely stayed up much later, and I had a “later” (like 9:30am) start time at work, which was good for me and my schedule. It’s been hard to mold myself to the morning schedule and if I’m on my own, I go back to my old habits. It’ll be interesting to see what I do when I go to Japan!

      Yes! I had to change the cover of the Guidebook to match the new covers. :) Figured it was necessary.

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S. J. Pajonas