Tag Archives: Morning

A Lark, a Mug and a Dead Poet

6 Dec

I have a “carpe diem” mug and, truthfully, at six in the morning the words do not make me want to seize the day.  They make me want to slap a dead poet.  ~Joanne Sherman

I have come to the end of the 6AM Writing Challenge, in which I decided to wake up at 6AM to write every day for a month.

Firstly, let’s get one thing straight – I only managed to get up at 6AM on eighteen out of the thirty days in the month. Not only did fatigue catch up with me towards the last week, but the dark skies and the very cold, morning house took away the comfort, the fun and the pleasure from writing. Towards the last week, I was no longer looking forward to waking up so early in the morning to write.

Yet this discomfort taught me a great lesson – I realised that writing isn’t always fun or enjoyable. Writing is made up of hard work, persistence and dedication.

Despite the discomforts, waking up at 6AM to write created some very positive effects in my life. Firstly, seeing as I wrote first-thing in the morning, I didn’t have to try to make time for it later. This meant that I wasn’t worrying about trying to find half an hour here or fifteen minutes there to write during the day. I had a clear conscience and got on with my day without thinking about writing. In addition, writing in the mornings allowed me to spend time on ‘home and family’ in the evenings.

Secondly, I gained several extra hours in my day. On most days, I did more things in the morning than I usually do in a day. This extra time also gave me the opportunity to start my day slowly, without any rush to get ready.

However, my greatest discovery during the Challenge was the positivity and energy with which I lived out my days. Whether it was biological or psychological, waking up earlier gave me a great sense of satisfaction and fulfilment. On days when I decided to have a lie-in and woke up at 9 or 10, I felt great disappointment at seeing that the morning was already over.

All in all, the 6AM Writing Challenge made me realise that having a daily writing practice requires some sacrifice (in my case – sleep) and some discomforts (the dark and the cold). It also showed me the beauty of greeting the sunrise and of dedicating the first hours of my day to an activity I enjoy. In the end, I think I quite enjoy being a lark…

girl running field arms stretching sky sunrise

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Have a Good Day

28 Nov

“Find peace in the morning rush and you will have a good day”. 
~ Mike Dolan

Image

Morning Mist

26 Nov

mist mountains trees

6AM Writing Challenge – Week Three

23 Nov

I am quite possibly the first 20-something to have done gardening at 8AM on a Sunday…in November. I laughed as, covered from head to toe in several layers of warm clothes, I pulled out weeds from our small patch of grass – how many people in my neighbourhood were even awake at this time on their day off? Let alone doing something active, let alone doing something outside, let alone – gardening at 8AM!

The past week of my 6AM Writing Challenge has brought some surprises. On some days, waking up at 6AM brought me a bundle of energy which made me very productive and very optimistic. Other days, waking up at 6AM meant that by mid-day all I wanted was to go back to bed and screw the rest of the working day, which was barely just beginning. And, of course, there were days when I was awake for so long (twenty hours) that I simply didn’t manage to get up at 6AM the next day.

girl stretching in bedroom morning

However, no matter what time I woke up, I still wrote for an hour before starting my day. And this has made me realise that only doing something I love could make me accomplish things I never thought I could accomplish. For example, while working as a freelance editor from home last year, I never managed to wake up at a reasonable time. And I never managed to motivate myself to do it, no matter how much I persuaded myself to ‘wake up earlier tomorrow’. Why? Because my work didn’t inspire me or fill me with joy or even interest me enough to be of more importance than a few extra hours in a warm bed.

But writing is. Because it has been the only thing that has motivated me to get up in the cold and dark for the past three weeks.

So what do I write about while most of the people I know are still sleeping? I have mostly been writing Morning Pages, because it is still difficult for me to get my brain or creativity going so early in the morning. However, I hope that as soon as the habit sets in, I will be able to move on to writing something that requires more concentration and effort.

One more week left of the 6AM Writing Challenge, and this week I am determined to not make any exceptions to waking up at 6AM every day.

Today’s sunrise

6AM Writing Challenge – Week Two

17 Nov

“She’s just waking up, so I’ll get her to call you back.”
“Just waking up?! But it’s already 10AM!”

I am half way through the 6AM Writing Challenge and the past week has really been just that – a challenge. There were many things going on in my personal and professional lives, which made the early mornings extremely difficult. On one particularly busy day, I was awake for twenty hours, and allowed myself to miss the next morning’s early rise for health’s sake.

I must admit that overall I have missed five days of my challenge, three of which were due to fatigue and the other two due to laziness. Although waking up at 6AM has really made a positive change to my life, I often wake up thinking “Why am I awake at 6AM?!”. In those first moments, when I get out of my warm bed and into the cold dark kitchen, I often laugh at the “crazy” challenge I set myself.

However, after breakfast, a sweet coffee and an hour of writing, I feel very satisfied to have started the day so early and in such a way. It’s amazing just how much time I gain by waking up at 6AM.  I have the time to enjoy my mornings rather than rushing through them. I have the time to savour my coffee, to look at the morning sky and to listen to the birds waking. I have the time to reflect upon the day to come and the days passed, and to finish a few things around the house before leaving for work. I have the time to prepare my bag, to choose my clothes and to put on my make-up carefully. I have the time to take my time.

In addition, during the day, I do not worry about setting aside a time for writing or about having enough time to write in the evening. This gives me a peace of mind and allows me to dedicate my evenings to other, usually home and family, activities.

So, despite my daily doubts about the usefulness of the 6AM Writing Challenge, I have been feeling more satisfied in the past two weeks, because I write every day and my writing time does not interfere with any other activities. However, I will need to plan one or two days off a week, to catch up on sleep!