Last week, I set a goal with my friend and fellow writer Roy, that both of us would rise at 5 AM in order to write. The goal was to do it twice last week and three times this week. Since he's in Nashville and I'm in Portland, with a two hour time difference, the idea is that we each email the other when we are up and working. Usually this consists of a terse message along the lines of "up." (Hey, we save our creative energy for the page.)
So, I've managed to rise at 5 AM three times now. In typical fashion for me, today, even though I told myself I could sleep in, it being Monday and all, I woke up all on my own at a little after 5. I have a strong circadian clock, I think.
Since I've now managed to rouse myself from bed three, count 'em, three, times, that makes me an expert. And because I am an expert, I have pronouncements. So here goes:
1. The worst part is the first moment when you open your eyes and groan. Keep your eyes open and get your feet on the floor. It gets better from there–especially when you get some coffee in you.
2. Speaking of coffee, make sure you have some waiting for you, either made by a spouse willing (or having no choice) to get up early also, or via automatic timer. Trust me, you are going to want coffee immediately.
3. Drink a couple big glasses of water before you start on the
coffee. Its good for you, and it'll help keep your brain focused.
Plus, it will give you an excuse to get up from the computer and use
4. Have a plan. And don't make the plan the morning of, figure it out the night before. This morning, because I didn't really plan to get up so early, I wasn't prepared with a plan and consequently I didn't get as much done.
5. Have a big goal. Mine is to once and for all finish the rewrite of my novel and get it out the door. I want this desperately, so desperately that I'm willing to get up in the dark to write.
6. Be prepared to kick ass and get tons done. Its magical, really. Since I work at home and can generally stay in my jammies all day long if I want to, I usually don't have to quit my morning writing session until 7:30 or 8, depending on what pressing assignments I have. When I get up at 5, I feel like I have a vast expanse of time in which to work, and my brain opens and eases and it is much easier to focus.
7. Don't let those pesky night owl types talk you out of your plan to rise early. It is worth it, trust me. Really, really worth it.
And now, excuse me, its nearly 9 PM and time for me to get in bed. Kidding! Sort of.