I am not a morning person. I used to be. There was a time when I was up chirping with the birds and vigorously, joyously jostling for a place on the train by 7:00 a.m. Then, I turned 30, and my dad’s night owl genetics kicked in.
Of course, it didn’t help that my health was in decline as I rapidly approached needing a kidney transplant. It didn’t get much better after the transplant as the meds left me sleepy and sick every morning. Even now, almost eight years later, it is a struggle to be civil before 9:00 a.m. My kind-hearted husband knows not to speak to me before I have had a few restorative sips of the coffee he silently brings me.
Which is why my best social media work is done between 7:00 and 9:00 a.m.
“What?” you cry.
Gospel truth, I say. While being an author has the undeniable perk of setting your own work schedule and having the flexibility to make time for dentists, groceries, and laundry whenever, the truth for me is that in the end, I have by default set a routine and schedule for myself.
The foundation of that routine is dragging my butt out of bed by 6:45 a.m. and sitting down with my coffee at the computer by 7:00 a.m. As the caffeine kicks in, I find myself full of to-do’s and lists and things that have to get done, and I have found that the sooner these things are done, the sooner my brain is clear for the flow of writing and creativity.
Being tired and slightly grouchy while doing my email, Facebook, Twitter and blogging work does have its advantages. Truly.
First, I have no patience with myself. Therefore, whatever it is I am going to say gets said as succinctly as possible. The vague resentment I feel at having to be awake that early also gives me the mordant, sarcastic edge that is the conerstone of my humor. Self-awareness of the fact that I can be bitter makes me a better editor of my work and comments so that I do not come aross as (too) bitter.
Second, crossing things off my list first thing in the morning gives me a sense of building momentum and setting up the day for productivity.
Third, I have no desire to write in the mornings. My creativity doesn’t really kick in until after lunch. But when it kicks in, the thing I hate most is having it interrupted or feeling like the Damoclean sword of marketing is hanging over my head and whispering ugly things about word count versus SEO optimization.
Finally, when my creativity finally burns out around 6:00 p.m., I don’t have to feel guilty about stopping writing. I can still be productive by circling back to everything I did that morning and closing the loop on interactions and setting up my to-do list for the next day.
Oh, look. It’s 9:04 a.m. on a Monday, and I just finished this post. Funny how that works…