Now let’s get one thing absolutely straight here. I am NOT a morning person. I blame my night owl tendencies on my Portuguese surname (Lopes) which means “son of wolf”. Wolves prowl at night. I’m half wolf!
It is with GREAT surprise then that I find that my best time to write is early, early mornings. If I wake up at quarter to five, I can be up and writing at my desk by 5am and that gives me a full two hours before I even have to THINK about getting to work. And all through the house not a creature was stirring except for my mouse. It’s a glorious time to be awake, even if I went to sleep at midnight. My fiance is still asleep with the rest of the world and the early light is just peeking between two curtains.
The earliest of early birds are out and about and only the milk delivery trucks rumble along Jan Smuts.
I find that I grab my most interesting ideas just as I’m waking up, as if though the subconscious has been percolating all night and it’s time to rise and smell the coffee. Lying in bed for a few minutes, I can order my thoughts, gather the ideas and then get started with something fresh for the day’s writing.
A quick shower and I’m off to work where my day job keeps me busy until noon. I write again for another hour at lunchtime and then nothing more for the rest of the day.
I’m surprised that I can even function in the mornings since I hate them so, but it’s definitely come to be the best time for writing.
In the evenings my day has me all knotted up and I unwind with some wine, TV or very rarely I go to the gym across the road. My brain is ready for relaxation in the evenings, so writing is a chore.
I’m a lazy guy – I don’t want to give my poor brain chores, so I wake up and write in the early morning when writing flows freely and is NOT a chore.
I’ve heard of times in human history when people would have two sleeps a night. They’d go to bed fairly early and then rise at about 3am, potter around the house and do some light chores, maybe read for a bit, have sex. And then it’s back to bed for second sleep. Maybe this is the natural cycle of things but we don’t live in that world anymore. We live in the age of Netflix (and sometimes chill) and frightful insomnia for some. I don’t imagine I could take on such a sleeping pattern without turning into an enraged sleep-deprived zombie, so I’ll just continue being an aspirant half-wolf night owl who wakes up WAY too early to write.
And you? When is your best time to write? Let me know and maybe I can learn something from your experience.
My wolf needs his rest.