After not finding time to work on my novel for the third day in a row, I said to my husband yesterday, I’m going to have to start getting up early to work on my novel. I didn’t mean it.
I’m not a morning person. In more than one sense. I do not rise early nor am I pleasant. I want to brush my teeth, brew a cup of tea, and then slip into my study–all without being observed or talked to.
I had hoped age would bestow upon me a desire to get up early, but so far, no luck with that.
When I began this post, I had no intention of actually trying to get up early, but all of a sudden, I think I might try it. Maybe that would be just the thing.
*with thanks to Annie Murphy Karabell
I know too well the issue of time somehow going elsewhere when it comes to keeping a regular schedule with a writing project. I console myself with the fact that I did find a workable schedule for a weekly blog post. Surely, I must be onto something! 🙂
Yes, Karen, you must be–please write next week’s post on how you do it 🙂
I love this line from Honore de Balzac in 1830: “The days melt in my hands like ice in the sun.”
Well, here we go again, Cynthia lol…I have been a night owl since I was a teenager and I’ve never changed…unfortunately. I love the quiet, wee hours of night, especially since it’s the only time of day I’m almost guaranteed to not be disturbed. I’m also always overloaded with things to do, so I continue to push at the end of the day. It’s been a habit that, if I had known it years ago, may have tried to change sooner, ’cause not sleeping at the right time REALLY affects hormones for many things, the ones I’m most familiar with and which matter a great deal are cortisol and then the two for hunger: ghrelin and leptin.
The truth is, when I go to bed at a decent hour and wake up early, I have more energy and accomplish the many things I need to during the morning hours that when I wake up too early, I can’t do (phone calls, errands, etc.) because the rest of the world is up. I was doing well with this for a couple of months last year, then all hell broke loose again and I was overloaded and it wasn’t long before I slid right back into my bad habits and I’m still there. I put weight on again when I was losing, too.
Anyway, when I wake up in the morning, it’s not that I’m grouchy or whatever, but I definitely feel better when I shift when I sleep. I REALLY DO want to be a morning person. Of course, what I REALLY want is to be able to be healthy and happy with only a few hours of sleep so I can be up most of the time! 😀 😀 😀
Yes, Donna, healthy and happy with a few hours of sleep would be great. But “a few hours” just doesn’t do it for me. I used to stay up late but these days head to bed with a book around 10 and go to sleep around 11. The National Sleep Foundation issued new guidelines yesterday, increasing the hours needed in a number of age brackets. But ours (26-64) was unchanged at 7-9 hours. [http://www.wsls.com/story/28011561/new-sleep-recommendations-based-on-age] Oh well.
The few hours is only a dream…always has been : / And you’re doing what I should be doing—getting in bed with a book by 10 🙂
I’m an Owl from a family of Larks. Summers we went to my dad’s latest USGS topo mapping project from our Bay Area home. It was natural for my dad, mom, sisters, and brother to get up early, and I mean setting off at 5 a.m. early. It almost killed me. Now, I am at peace with not being an early riser, though I find that on the rare occasions I’m up early the world has a fresh, unused quality that inspires and moves me. The high-tech industry allowed me to be a communications director and still start my day late—at 9 or 10 unless I had an early meeting—and work later, which was, and is, ideal for me. To remain as healthy and as balanced as I can, I try to go to bed as early as I can, read, or watch a film, and then go to sleep. Currently, I wake up without an alarm between 8 and 9, and then have a cup of coffee delivered to my bedside table by my house host. That cup of coffee is my only cup of coffee of the day, as well as the wake-up drink that has replaced my usual Lapsang Souchong tea while I stay with my friend while house-hunting. I sip coffee, think, and adjust to wakefulness. I’d prefer not to talk while I slowly wake up. On my best days, I then rise and go to the gym or out for a walk. I will never be a morning person, and that is fine with me, but I work to resist my body’s natural inclination to stay up until 2 a.m. Recently, I’ve been contemplating a return to a job at a company. The idea of having to be somewhere at a certain time early in the day does give me pause.
I love that, Katherine–an owl from a family of larks : ) Nice. And I was fascinated reading how you start your day. A cup of coffee delivered to your bedside table sounds like such a gentle transition. When I had less control over my days (getting out of bed to children needing things), I loved a cup of coffee in bed. These days, with an empty house, I prefer to have my tea in my study. I just can’t wait to get in here. Good luck with your decision about work. Going forward with that will certainly change things.
I’m not a morning person either. But, I have 2 – 12 hour shifts staring at 10 am that are quite difficult. On most other days, 10 am is when I wake up. I go to sleep between midnight and 2 am, mostly depending on whether I work the next day. I am also extremely slow to wake up. I only use an alarm the 2 days I work long shifts.
I don’t function well in the morning at anything, but writing. I used to do morning pages where I would just get up and write. Sometimes it was just gibberish, but some good. I think my best writing came after sleeping, maybe, 4 hours. Words would pour out. Upon completion, I would be exhausted and go back to bed.
Wow. Managing your days when two of them include a 12-hour shift sounds impossible. It’s nice that on the other days you can allow yourself to wake whenever your body wants to. And that’s really interesting that your best writing came after four hours of sleep–writing softly wrapped in sleep…
It’s quiet in the house and as dark as the middle of the night outside. More later.
Normally I don’t use an alarm, and I get up between 7 and 7:30–a little later sometimes on the weekends, a little earlier in Provincetown where it gets light earlier.
This morning I set my alarm for 6:45 but woke up before it went off. Still I didn’t get out of bed until 6:45. I was so tired–I am so tired. But I did get a lot of work done on my novel. And it’s only 3:00 now. It does feel like I have more time today but I’m not terribly chipper.
You know… that 3ish hour…
on a winter’s afternoon…
when the sun fills
the living room window…
it’s warm light
spilling across the sofa…
to curl up
for just a little while…?
Well… today… I did…
just that… 🙂
Day 17… Cat Nap
by helena sorensen
Yes I do know that warm light, Helena. Day 17 Cat Nap. Lovely : )
This link arrived in my inbox today courtesy of Evernote: Rise & Shine: The Morning Rituals of our Great Creative Minds >>> http://goo.gl/nnOVf4
You know, I heard about this book (the Daily Rituals one) some time last year, I think, and it totally interested me. This time I actually put it on my wish list 🙂 Thanks for the reminder, Cynthia!
The book is fascinating, Donna. My son gave it to me for my birthday last year, and I’ve been reading it since then–one artist at a time.
Lots of night owls among your readers! And yeah, me too. I am much better at being approachable first thing, though, than I used to be. That didn’t happen until marriage rubbed up against my morning meanness long enough to wear it away. I’m no chipper sunshine greeter by any stretch, but I can actually listen, reply (using few words), smile a little. I used to literally wince and turn away when spoken to before I had been up for at least an hour. As for how much sleep we need, I read a couple of years ago that researchers have been totally wrong, and the vast majority of people need 9 + hours. I now try to go to bed 10 hours before I get up, and that has made a huge difference in my energy level. LOVE that Balzac quote. No matter when I get up, time will always be like that for me.
Even marriage has not worn off my “morning meanness” as you so straightforwardly described it. But good for you. And I love the Balzac quote too–found it in the Daily Rituals book mentioned above. It seems to perfectly describe how fast a day goes…
Don’t think I mentioned this before, but just had to throw in that I’ve been told, several times, by my daughter-in-law that she is most definitely NOT a morning person as she’s waking up. My son agrees lol