5:30 AM. I creep out of bed fighting the urge to crawl back in. Resisting the urge to snuggle between the warm sheets. Fighting the urge to keep my head resting on my fluffy pillow. Instead, I shuffle my way toward the bathroom where I take to pee and take a shower.
I let the hot water hit my naked body. Everything must be clean. I am beginning to waking-up, but I am still fatigued. Before I end my shower (if I can remember) I switch from the hot water to ice cold for several seconds. The frigid shower water sends a shock to my nervous system.
I am awake. Now.
Breakfast & Coffee
6:00 AM. I then get dressed and proceed to make my Aeropress coffee while preparing my breakfast. I have been having the same breakfast for the last year or so. A toasted egg, tomato, and baby spinach sandwich. A small bowl of greek yogurt with blueberries and honey. A full glass of water which I usually chug down first thing when I enter the kitchen.
I eat this full breakfast at the dinner table which connects to the living room. I watch a couple of Youtube videos via my Apple TV. After finishing my meal, I return back to the kitchen and clean all my dishes.
I then grab my Aeropress brewed coffee. I take a few sips as I sit down in my favorite IKEA POÄNG chair. I open my laptop and begin my writing routine.
6:25 AM. I always start writing a daily journal entry. The journal entry must at least 250 words. No less. It’s okay to go a bit over. But at least 250 words or I haven’t, or I know I am being lazy. It might seem silly to some. For me, if I allow myself to alter this small word count, I can then fall into an abyss of more excuses.
The journal writing has proven an excellent practice to start my writer engine. For the journal entry, I write whatever comes to my mind. It’s designed as a way to get my juices flowing. No pressure. Here I write in a sort of stream of conscious style. And it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make any sense. I never go back and read my journal entries.
Writing the Book
After completing my journal entry, I open my file for the book I am working on. That is the main reason I wake-up so early. To write a book one needs time to write many words. I know this is self-explanatory but think of it as a race. The second I let up, then it becomes harder for me to catch up unless I sprint. I have found writing in sprints to be less productive than writing at a consistent pace each day. It’s slow, but the numbers do not lie.
The morning is only time I have to myself, and it’s two hours. To write. Sometimes I have less than ninety minutes to write everything I can that day.
My thoughts are fresh in the morning. Though, I’m tired. I’m tired in a different way.
Why I Don’t Write in the Evening
In the evening, I am also tired. But tired from a full day’s work. Tired from commuting via the subway. Tired. I don’t want to think about anything when I get home. I want to vegetate. I want to relax and let the day’s stress melt away from me.
I used to get home feeling this way but also with the feeling of guilt. Guilt that I hadn’t written anything yet that day. I wanted to write something. This was when I was supposed to commit. I now had time to do it. But not really. No. My mind and body wanted nothing to do with writing. They wanted to go in neutral. They had already been in drive mode all day.
Why it Works for Me
Forcing myself to wake-up the early works. It works for me. I often have a hard time committing to writing anything over the weekend. To busy trying to relax or run errands or do the chores or go do things. Monday through Friday in the wee hours of the day. As the sun is beginning the breakthrough in the sky, I write.
Now I must conclude this blog. The time is closing, and I have to get ready to commute to work. Then work. Then I will commute home. Have dinner. I will still want to write more after all this. But I will no longer feel guilty. Guilt for turning on the TV. Since I know, I already wrote in the morning. It’s okay for me to watch a show on Netflix while scanning Imgur posts on my smartphone.
It’s finally okay for me to relax.
Other Articles to Consider:
- Jeff Goins offers the opposite advice based on his personal preference.
- Lifehacker argues for three pages of garbage every morning.
- Wake-Up Writing: Morning Rituals for Busy Writers