Early birds and the people who hate them–the writing habits of a morning person

Swallow feeding worms to her chicks

I may be an early bird, but I promise I don’t feed worms to my kids for breakfast.

I’m almost ashamed to admit it, but I am a morning person. Why the shame? Because I have discovered that there is nothing that night owls hate as much as the behavior of us early birds. And it seems that there are a lot of night owls around, judging but the fuzzy eyeballs cast in my direction at 7 am, when I smile and bounce and chirp, “Good morning!” at them.

When I lived in that sleep-deprived state induced by having an infant at home, my natural biorhythms were completely disrupted. I didn’t enjoy mornings so much, and frankly the nights were not any better. And when my infants grew bigger, they still needed attention during daylight, so I was stuck writing and editing late in the evenings, when I was no longer the brightest crayon in the box. I’d stay up way too late working–at times producing work that was less then stellar due to the fuzziness in my brain that settles at about 6 pm–and then I would be fuzzy-brained in the morning, too.

Aahhh…how things have changed! With my kids all in school, thank G-d, I’m back to my morning habits. A lot of the things people say to do before bed at night–journalling, preparing school lunches for the next day, and so on–I do early in the morning, when the house is still quiet. After I drop off the youngest at preschool, I spend hours writing and editing. And I can go to sleep at night at a decent hour because I know I’ll be able to plop down again at my keyboard the next morning. As a side benefit, I’ve also noticed that since I’ve already taken care of my “busy brain,” I’m able to focus on my kids’ needs more after school, without planning the next plot twist when I’m supposed to be supervising their homework or bathing them.

I still do a bit of work in the evening, but there’s less pressure. And if I want to submit, I usually wait until bright and early the next day so I can read it with fresh eyes before sending off to the editor. Frankly, submitting in the morning has greatly curtailed my case of “no-attachment-itis.”

Unfortunately, I still have a major problem: trying not to tick off the night owls at 7 am.

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