I’m writing this at 9 pm PDT, which is usually when my creative juices really kick in and I start to write well.
I’m not sure why this is. I suspect it’s because both of my kids are in bed. The quiet allows me to focus, as I know the next time I’ll see the kids is in the morning.
For a time, I tried to write in the early hours of the morning. With this approach, I had to make sure I finished my work before the kids woke up. The problem is that when I did this, I always had two questions in the back of my mind:
- Why in the world am I up this early?
- What if the kids wake up?
The first question was there because I have always thrived in the later hours of the day. To try to “rewire” myself seemed counterproductive, but since I’d read about how smart it was to do get up early, I worked hard at it. I now realize that because I didn’t like to do it, my effort was less than 100%. But I still kept at it, despite knowing that I wasn’t working at optimum levels.
The second question arose because it was a legitimate one. What if the kids woke up? I mean, being up at 5 am to write was all well and good but if my son woke up at 6 am while I was in the state of writing flow I was faced with two choices: send him back to bed or let him stay up. More often than not, the latter choice was wiser because the effort of putting him back to bed took far too long.
I hated facing this question in the morning because it had two possible answers.
But at night it only had one. There was no other option. If Colton woke up at ten, eleven, or midnight, I sent him back to bed. Even at 2 am – I have stayed up that late in the past – he was briskly sent back to his room. Decision fatigue wasn’t a factor; there was no decision to make. Back to bed he went.
From this moment until I go to bed (likely around 1 am tonight) I won’t be faced with any disruptions or distractions that can be dealt with swiftly and simply. I’ll have the quiet I need to do the writing I want to do. And tomorrow morning when I wake up at 8 a.m. I’ll tackle the low energy tasks that need my attention because I’ll be able to give them that level of attention. I’m going to get 4 hours of solid creative work in tonight…which is more than a lot of people I know get in a week.