The Importance of Getting Up Early

Tomorrow morning, I’ll wake up at 5:15 am, get dressed in the closet so as not to wake my husband, and drag myself out the door just as the sun begins to peek over the trees. I can’t say I look forward to that brief daily feeling of, “Ugggghhh…seriously?” as I feel around in the pitch black for my buzzing alarm clock. In fact, I hate it.

But the truth is, I don’t have to wake up at 5:15 for school. Yes, hard as it is to overcome the initial pain and frustration, I’ve actually made a habit of getting out of bed even earlier than is necessary to begin my early-morning job. Over the years, I’ve found that I enjoy scoring a few bonus hours each day–the kind of hours that most late risers never see. When school work and copywriting requests build up (with the occasional blog post thrown into the mix) those few extra hours come in very handy, indeed.

Each day, I walk into the school building while the halls are silent. This allows me to get a few pages of writing/ lesson planning done before my supervisor needs to see me, or the kids start knocking on my door with questions. When class finally does start I feel wide awake and energized, and I start the rest of my day already feeling like I’ve gotten a lot accomplished.

Would-be writers everywhere can benefit from getting up an hour or two before the rest of the world begins. “I don’t have the time,” they shout over and over again, never realizing that the time could be there if they only knew where to look.

No less a writer than the best-selling Marry Higgins Clark has spoken on the importance of getting up early:

When my children were young, I used to get up at five and write at the kitchen table until seven, when I had to get them ready for school. For me, writing is a need. It’s the degree of yearning that separates the real writer from the “would-be’s.” Those who say “I’ll write when I have time, when the kids are grown up or when I have a quiet place to work,” will probably never do it.

If Higgins Clark can get up early to write while working full-time and raising five children alone, what’s your excuse?

This week,  I ask all aspiring writers to set a new goal for themselves. Instead of forcing creativity at the end of a long and frustrating day, set your alarm for an hour or two earlier and get the writing done when you still feel fresh and rejuvenated. Waking up super early may be tough at first, but try to fight through it. You can promise yourself little rewards for each day you get up on schedule, but soon you may find that the bright feeling of accomplishment–and the growing pile of pages–is reward enough.

Next Week: ‘Comma’ and Get It, People!


Writer and educator Sara Goas is a graduate of Lycoming College, and she specializes in creating content for the web. Her site saragoas.com has more examples of her work.

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