Due to some shifting in my toddler’s bedtime and the transition to a ‘big boy bed’, I’ve found parts of my routine somewhat chaotic over the past few weeks. Master ‘I-don’t-need-any-sleep’ is very much enjoying the ability to move around the house freely after he is put into bed compared to the jail-like confines of a cot. I’m enjoying this somewhat less as I’ve now realised exactly how little sleep he appears to need and how early he wants to be up. And how early I’m now getting up too.
One recent morning – far too early for my liking, I settled him with some toys in the living room and found myself with a spare 45 minutes or so. I pulled out my laptop and started writing a passage of the novel I’m working on at the moment.
I wasn’t expecting much. I’ve never been a morning person but I was pleasantly surprised with my efforts. It wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever written and will still need substantial editing, but it was far, far more focused than what I would have expected given the time of the morning. As I wrote, I found myself feeling somewhat sharper than at times when I’ve previously written into the night. I even developed a possible solution to a problem with the plot that had haunted me for weeks.
With kids in bed, I’ve always relished the time in the evenings to catch up on tasks for work, write or unwind with a book or a favourite television show. However, given the shift in our routine and my recent attempts at writing early, I’m beginning to wonder whether ‘early to bed, early to rise’ is a good mantra as I work to fit writing into my schedule.
The question is one discussed in a recent article in the Australian Financial Review. It appears that many creative types use the early morning as a critical part of their day to write, draw or work on their business or scientific ventures. The early morning writing routine has been used by such creative talents such as John le Carre, Ernest Hemingway and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
While my writing is not exactly Hemingwayesque, I’m going to give the early morning writing session a trial. Head to bed a little earlier, rise a little earlier (maybe even ahead of Master ‘I-don’t-need-any-sleep’) and see how it works. You never know, perhaps I will turn myself into a morning person.