Monday, December 14, 2015

Writing Lab: Mornings Are Tough No Matter What Time They Occur

I am not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination. To be totally honest, I'm not even a day person. No, really. A lot of people say that, but I mean it to a much greater extent than they probably do.

Once upon a time, I worked an average, everyday job and kept to an average, everyday schedule. I slept at night and got up in the morning, just like most people. All of that's changed since I started working at home for myself as a freelance copywriter.

Being a team of one and not having to answer to anyone else has meant I can allow my body clock to settle into whatever pattern feels most natural. For me, that apparently means staying up most of the night and sleeping primarily during the day -- for the most part, anyway. (My typical bedtime is between 4AM and 6AM. I'm usually up for the day between noon and 2PM.)

Keeping such a schedule allows me to write when I have the most energy and feel the most creative -- in the evenings and at night. Seth is as serious a night owl as I am and also prefers that schedule, so my relationship doesn't suffer at all. Plus, I'm not even going to pretend I don't like that being a night owl makes it easier to avoid taking on very many social obligations (not to mention the evil, evil sun). I'm naturally reclusive anyway, but I go through these periods in my life where I feel like I'm in a cocoon of sorts -- too busy developing into whatever the hell person I'm going to be next to bother much with the outside world. That's kind of where I am now and being a night owl gels with that.

.......

You would think that getting up later in the day would make it easier for me to actually start my day, but it doesn't. "Mornings" are hard for me no matter what time they occur, so my start-of-the-day rituals are an important part of successfully making the transition. Seth and I call it "easing into the day". 

If at all possible, I give myself permission to sort of stay in bed for an hour or two so that my brain can get going before I try to make my body follow suit. I will check e-mail on my phone or tablet first thing so that I know right away if there are any client issues or emergencies I'll need to take care of once I'm up and at 'em. If necessary, I'll respond and let the person know when I can take care of whatever it is. 

Then I go right the fuck ahead and scroll through Facebook for a while. On days when I'm not in much of a social media mood, I'll read a couple of chapters of whatever book I'm working on, catch up with the news, or chew through a magazine instead. If Seth is already up, we'll usually just shoot the breeze or talk about what's going on with people we know for a while. All of that helps my brain kind of boot up, get in the mood to deal with clients, and write that day. 

That's about all I tend to do with any real consistency every single morning though (or at least weekday mornings). I will often get on the computer and start on the day's workload long before I think about eating anything. (I don't really eat breakfast or drink coffee in the mornings with any regularity.) Admittedly, my grooming routine isn't as meticulous as it used to be, since I no longer have to worry about going to an outside office or waiting on customers all day or anything, so there are many days when I skip the extraneous grooming altogether. Essentials like showering and whatnot usually happen when I feel like I want to take a break and come back to my work in a bit.