Before I get this started, let’s make one thing clear: I am not in any way a morning person. I never have been, and I don’t know that I ever will be. My parents have videos of me bawling on Christmas morning because they woke me up at 8:00 and I wanted to sleep. Does that give you a good idea?
That being said, I have tried for several months to do more in the early morning. The stories in the Gospels that talk about how Jesus rose early in the morning to pray come to mind. I remember reading those and immediately thinking, “Not for me. That junk is for the birds.” Maybe I’m getting old. Maybe I’m getting wiser. Maybe I just have a one-year-old daughter and I’ve gotten used to not sleeping in past 6. Now, I’m starting to understand the benefit of rising early in the morning.
I love writing, but I’ve found that afternoons and evenings simply won’t work for me. By the time I get home, my brain is usually too drained from work to concentrate on creating. And I want to spend time with my wife and daughter after I get home. I also have other responsibilities that require my attention, so there isn’t a set time every day that I can allot for writing either.
Then, I started listening to the Writer 2.0 podcast. The host, A.C. Fuller, often talks about getting up at 4:30 to start writing before taking care of other responsibilities. Again, my initial reaction, not for me.
I tried it though. I started with Saturday mornings. I didn’t have to be anywhere, so it was easier to try and get in the habit. Saturday became Saturday and Sunday. I’ve tried it on some work days, but that’s a mountain to climb right now.
I have to say, it’s much better than I expected. The peaceful quiet of the early morning creates a pleasant atmosphere, and my brain is fresh, so I get a lot of creative thoughts out. When I get a cup of coffee brewed, I can knock out 1,000 words or so in about an hour. When I can accomplish that in the first hour of my day, I’ve found that it even puts me in an excellent mood, and the rest of my day goes well.
It doesn’t have to be writing, either. I go back to the example of Jesus in the Gospels. There’s probably a reason he got up in the early hours of the morning to pray, and not because he was a “morning person”. He understood how easily prayer and other spiritual disciplines could get neglected throughout the day. When we get busy with the daily grind, we often forget the little things that are important but not immediate.
There is something magical, creative, and spiritual about the early morning. The world is still asleep, and anything is possible. Everything is fresh and new. It’s wonderful.
My encouragement to you is to find time in the morning to do those things that you love but seem to fall by the wayside. You get to start your day doing something that means the world to you. The day becomes more relaxed because you don’t have to begin your day rushing around. It also gives you a great sense of accomplish before you even get to work or school.
It’s not easy. I still don’t do it as much as I’d like to. Nowhere near as much. Take it from me, though, a non-morning person who has seen the beauty of the quiet of the morning. It’s worth it.