Are you a night person, like the yellow-crowned night heron (Nyctanassa violacea)? Or are you a morning person, like the green heron (Butorides virescens)? Personally, I like getting up in the pre-dawn darkness and looking out at the dark world. Although sometimes with a full moon, it isn’t very dark. So what does this green heron do with her day? Well, I’m glad you asked.
Good Morning, Muse
The first thing I do is prepare myself a morning beverage and sit down at my laptop to watch the horizon brighten. In the early hours, my muse is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. The ideas form and the words flow out of my fingertips. I’m encouraged and optimistic. I listen to the birds and revel in their varied calls.
The early morning is also the time when I feel motivated to complete those household tasks. So, after a few minutes of writing, I want to get up and do things. Of course, I have the usual chores of feeding my reptilian family members. I pull myself away from my writing and prepare their morning repast. Then back to some writing, up to accomplish a task, back to writing, and so on. As the morning becomes midday, the writing zeal diminishes and progress slows.
An Afternoon Break
My productivity is also impacted by the need to ride my horses in the early morning of the desert summer. Once again, I whisk myself away from my flowing words to refresh my souls with my equine family. It’s good that I do that because along with interacting with another species, I get a lot of very needed exercise. Sitting at a desk or even standing at a desk in one spot for hours, is not good for an aging body. Perhaps I could wear a dictating device as I walked and rode, so I could multi-task and improve my efficiency.
Many days, as bedtime approaches, I say the famous comment “I need more hours in the day.” In reality, I need more morning hours in the day!
I’m fortunate to live in Tucson, AZ, in the Mountain Standard Time Zone. Sunrises come early, between 5-6 am, unlike the Florida sunrises that are between 6-7 am. Arizona gives me an extra hour and makes the morning a whopping seven hours long!
A Perfect Day
For me the perfect day would be:
- Get up an hour or two before sunrise.
- At sunrise, walk for an hour on a Gulf of Mexico beach. Somehow, I need to move the ocean closer to Tucson. Right now, it is 1350 miles away. A little too far.
- After my walk, I’d prepare breakfast for all of us.
- Then off to the stables for a ride.
- Home for lunch and a bit more writing, perhaps some chores.
- Supper at some point, when convenient.
- After dining, evening activity (like chorus) or doing research for future writing.
- Then to bed early to arise refreshed the next pre-dawn. As Ben Franklin said, “early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy wealthy, and wise.”
This schedule would give me a nice mix of writing and exercise outdoors. Fresh air and vitamin D are very important. And don’t worry, I will make time to interact with people, too.
The early start time would not be a problem. When I started seriously writing I would get up at 4 am. I had a spot in the front room where I would work in the dark. My elderly mother lived with me. If she saw that I was up, she would insist on getting up. Unfortunately, that meant I’d have to stop writing and tend to her needs. I discovered I liked writing with only the glow of my laptop screen and a view of the pre-dawn desert.
More Morning Please
Where and when you write is a frequent question of authors. I confess I don’t write all day long unless the muse is really flowing and I have an open schedule to just keep going. No, I need to break up my life into writing and experiencing the world around me, whether it’s the tortoises circling my feet, an iguana sitting on my shoulder, the lizard out on the patio, or hugging my horse. Surely, there is time in my life to live. I just wish more of it could be in the morning!