Writing First Thing in the Morning
So I’m sitting here. At my desk. In the morning. And I’m writing this post. Yesterday, I was writing in the morning too. And the day before. Is there someone forcing me to do this? No, I simply choose to work this way.
Why would you set your day to always write first thing in the morning?! Isn’t being a blogger all about freedom and being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want to?!
Well, bloggers are pretty free people, but being free doesn’t mean that you can’t set some of your activities to a fixed schedule. Especially if those activities simply make sense.
And it really does make sense for writing. Here’s why.
Benefits of writing in the morning and the power of habit
Let’s start with the latter – the power of habit.
Habit is probably the most powerful thing that drives us into doing anything. And I really mean it. Once something becomes our habit, it isn’t difficult any longer, requires very little effort, and gets done pretty quickly.
But if that doesn’t explain the situation enough, let’s tackle it from a different angle.
I’m sure you’ll admit that some bad habits are extremely difficult to fight. Sometimes it takes months or years, or even a lifetime (for some people). I’m sure that every smoker and late riser can relate to this…
That’s the true power of habit, no matter good or bad, once it is set, it stays with us for years.
So what’s the point of turning writing into a first-thing-in-the-morning habit?
First of all, as I said a minute ago, once writing becomes your habit, it will be a natural activity. One that doesn’t require any effort. One that isn’t scary in any way, or challenging in any way. Simply, a natural habit.
The second benefit is something that sits in our mind.
Everything sits in our mind
Even though our brain is an extremely complex thing, some of its characteristics are pretty predictable.
For instance, once our brain gets a grasp that one particular activity is being done every day, first thing in the morning, and it has been done for the past month or so, it will get used to that activity.
Our brain will simply be anticipating that activity, having all the required tools in place ready to be used, at the exact time when the activity usually happens.
This is something that can help us extremely. And I’m not exaggerating. Once your brain is used to you writing every day in the morning, it will prepare all your writing resources and skills to be in their top shape waiting for you.
This is something that can (and will) improve your writing significantly.
And it’s nothing new. People are using this trick all the time in many different fields.
Like, for example, professional boxing. Once the time and date of a fight is set, every training prior to the fight takes place at the same time. Why? So the body and the brain of the boxer can get used to it, and be ready when it’s time to get in the ring.
Many professional sportsmen use this trick, not only boxers. It simply works in most imaginable scenarios. Writing and blogging included.
But improving your results isn’t the only reason why you should at least give this a try. There are other benefits.
Fighting the early-day confusion and warming up
Mornings can be confusing … I’m sure you can relate.
You wake up and there’s so much stuff to do that you don’t know where to start. So you don’t start at all for a while and go to Facebook instead.
Sometimes we fall into such a trap, despite the fact we know that the only thing we have to do is START. No matter what it is exactly, the first step is always the most difficult, and once we’re going, we’re going.
Having a first-thing-in-the-morning activity can be of great help here. There’s no confusion any more. You know that no matter how much stuff you have to do, you always start your day by writing.
Another benefit. Writing is a great warm-up activity for your brain. It gets you ready for other things the day can bring.
And there’s also the most obvious benefit of them all… You simply start your day with a fresh and shiny article, ready to be published, sent as a guest post, sold, or whatever else you’re doing with your content.
How to set a habit of writing in the morning
First of all, you have to realize that the most difficult part is the initial phase. The first couple of times you try to write in the morning.
It may simply not feel natural, nor easy. And the results might not be that good … well, sorry, I’m just telling it like it is.
But remember, this is always the case when setting new habits. Like the habit of early rising, for example. Do you remember how difficult it was to get up early during the first week? Or do you remember how difficult it was not to smoke during the first month of your new cigarette-free lifestyle?
You simply need to get through this. Here’s what I advise you to do during the first week:
- Start every day by writing a personal journal. Journal entries are very easy to write because they don’t require any knowledge, mindset, or prior information. You simply fire up a text editor and start writing on whatever topic you want. As little as 100-200 words is enough.
- The actual writing. This is where you write the actual thing you want to write. And you don’t stop until you finish the whole piece.
- Reward yourself and have a break. Have a small treat. Whatever makes sense.
- Proceed with your other tasks for the day.
If you do these four steps long enough (for like a month maybe) then after a while they will become natural and won’t require any effort on your end. Also, you will be able to do them much more quickly.
I know this personally … because it’s 8:30AM where I’m sitting right now.
What is your opinion? Have you tried this trick yet? Also, feel free to share if you have any advice of your own that’s similarly counterintuitive.
About the author: Karol K. is a 20-something year old web 2.0 entrepreneur from Poland and a writer at ThemeFuse.com, where he shares various WordPress advice. Don’t forget to visit ThemeFuse to get your hands on some premium WordPress themes (warning: no boring stuff like everyone else offers).
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21 Responses to “Writing First Thing in the Morning”
I definitely agree that making writing a habit is extremely important and yes, doing it in the morning before the chores of the day weigh you down is key. I find I’m freshest in the morning and if I get to it straight away I feel really good about myself. Like Andi I have a word goal for the day and whenever I finish I can have “fun” the rest of the day guilt free.
I was and am always a believer of “Early to bed, and Early to rise, makes a man Healthy, Wealthy and Wise!” Now your post has helped me to justify my belief. By the way, Great post!
Andi the Minion
A very interesting post Karol, I am currently doing something similar, it isn’t writing in the early hours of the morning but I have set myself to write 1000 words a day for the 5 main working days just to get into the habit of writing and to get the mind to think as a writer. Maybe I should set this to a certain time of the day as well.
It is a great habit to get into, although I feel that some people are more naturally night owls rather than early birds. Habit should win out in the end with some determination. It is satisfying to get jobs done early on in the morning and helps the productive atmosphere carry on through the rest of the day.
Thank you for this post. Personally, fresh ideas come early morning and the slumbering creativity from last night is awaken with my favorite coffee. Writing requires discipline and I agree to Jorge’s reply. 😉
Keep posting helpful tips!
Laura in Texas
I agree that writing first thing in the morning is ideal – at least for me. But during the week I have an hour-long commute to my law office 54 miles away. I already get up at 5 am to work out for half an hour (I’m 52; if I don’t work out regularly the body falls apart quickly) and then shower and leave for the office. I could get up at 4 am to write, but since I don’t get home until late at night, I’m not sure I can do it – I can’t survive / function on five hours of sleep a night.
Excuses? No. Explanation? Yes. I would do better writing first thing in the morning. It’s just not an option for me in my current circumstances.
As I was reading, it reminded me of the Discipline we all should have when we want to accomplish something.
I very lovely writing activites.. and every day i always write something in my blog.
Thank you so much for your tips..
Nice tips Karol! Though, I appreciate your tips but I am way to lazy to get up in the morning and start working.
HP van Duuren
Yes, I like the idea of an Early Morning Routine for example also when you start with Early Morning Jogging followed by a Shower, really makes you start the morning Fresh for Writing. I actually also made a Photo Slide Show Video about Early Morning Jogging, with some Stunning Photo’s of the Upcomming Sun.
Chris @ NPI
Hi Karol, great tip. In the morning it’s the best time for writing for me too. But unfortunately I have some other tasks, which are more important to me at this time. So I start writing some hours later.
Thanks for sharing, Chris
I woke up early one morning and read a page in a book about doing things we didn’t like to do first thing in the morning. That same morning, I put it into practice and by the time noon hour came I had done a ton of things I normally put off. I was actually looking for things I didn’t want to do, one after the next, and it worked! It really is a thing of the mind and we can control more things than we think!
OMG, I love this article and I completely agree with you! Writing first thing in the morning is the best (although I admit that I do not always follow my own–and your–advice) because at least for me, my mind is clear from the gathering clutter as the day goes on. Plus, I just feel good “getting it done” and the rest of my day feels so much clearer.
This is interesting!
The thing is how we want to start doing things.. and it’s a part of our habit! Make it a usual practice and get the momentum going!
actually I read this similar content in other sites, well its a good habit when writing article in morning indeed, in my point of view you’ll get a fresh ideas in the morning rather than writing on daylight, I agree with ehsan post. nice post, interesting….. thank you
Very interesting read indeed.. I’m actually going to put this it use, I been thinking to start my own journal probably private one just for me..and I think it would be a great way to get all your thoughts out of your head in the morning and maybe at the end of the day.. write in the morning and write before you go to bed could be a great way of clearing your mind. I’m going to give it a shot and hopefully it will help my out in my writing skills and feel better about my self.
Thanks for sharing!
This is great advice and for anyone who wants to make blogging a full-time gig for them I would highly encourage forcing yourself to get in a morning routine. I have been getting up at 5 a.m. for the past couple of years for my writing gigs, and while it may seem a little extreme, I cannot tell you how much I love it.
At the time I wake up there is practically nobody on Twitter or Facebook etc., which means no social networking distractions. This allows me to focus on catching up on my RSS subscriptions and catch the latest news from overnight, and draw some ideas for stuff to write about. Usually this will lead to a quick morning post that I can have published by the time everybody starts to wake up. Email subscribers will have my latest story in their inbox when they get to checking their email, and in some cases I can even make sure my story is shared on social networks so it is one of the first things my followers see in their timelines.
One tip I would add that even though it is great getting content up early, be sure to share the link again later in the day on Twitter or another social networking outlet because morning links can also be easily missed, especially on sites like Twitter.
I post daily on my blog and most of the time I’m writing the articles the day before they’re posted. I LOVE writing as soon as I can after getting up. My days are very unpredictable and I find that if I don’t get my article written early, then I do it late, and I HATE DOING IT LATE!
You’ve inspired me to make having my blog post ready to go before I leave my desk in the morning a priority. Then I won’t have to worry about it the rest of the day.
Thanks for your practical post.
Professional writers find that their most creative writing time is in the early morning. They tend to prefer to write in the early morning for many good reasons. Mind is well rested and also there is no disturbance which outcome in some great piece of writing work.
I don’t have a habit of writing in morning because I wake up at 11:00AM. I always write in night and that became my habit.
Thanks for the useful and helpful article Karol.
Nice blog post!
Personally love those weekend mornings when the kids sleep in late and I can write at my kitchen table in PJ’s with a cup of coffee.
I always do my best writing after going for a run. My mind puzzles out character’s, plot points, jumps to an interesting blog topic, etc. When I get home, I’m full of inspiration. And covered in perspiration.
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