In praise of tired

Early morning writing vibes have been strong this week. The word count is creeping up (13, 423 at last count) and I actually quite like most of those words. My characters are continuing to lead me through their story, opening my eyes to new aspects of their world and the people that they are becoming as they embrace their teenage years.


Admittedly I have not exactly been leaping out of bed at 6am: it’s been more like 6.30 by the time I’ve got to my desk. But I’m beginning to realise that there are definite advantages to writing whilst I’m still not quite awake, and I’m hoping that embracing that might make the task I’ve set myself ever more achievable.

I remember when I was working on my first two novels, both written (the first drafts at least) before Arthur was 18 months old, I had a sense that the sleep deprivation was actually working in my favour. As long as I had a vague idea of where I was headed in each writing session, the constraints put on my brainpower by being utterly exhausted were more useful than you’d think. It meant I kinda had to focus on the task in hand: my brain did not have the energy to wander, nor to get caught up in battles of will between creative confidence and the demons of self-doubt. I just wrote, and worried about whether it was any good or not later.

I think I’m getting to a similar place by writing first thing in the morning now. I’m tired, but it’s not the (much less helpful) end of the day tired, where all the things I’ve done (and haven’t) have secreted themselves amongst my brain cells thus stripping them of any useful function. At 6am (or 6.30) my head is emptier. There is space for my narrative to spread itself out, for my characters to wander round and find their paths. But still not quite enough spare energy for my psyche to put up its niggling barriers against that story being told – that my ideas and/or my words are not worth spending precious time on.

In fact when it comes down to time, the only other thing I would be doing in that time is sleeping. And whilst I do (really, really) love my sleep, I reckon this is worth the sacrifice.


Writing Bubble


10 thoughts on “In praise of tired

  1. Mummy Tries

    This is exactly how I feel about morning tasks, and always have done tbh. I was one of those crazy people going to 7am spin classes, and later Bikram yoga, before work. Writing is the same, my brain is frazzled by the time the kids go to bed… Unfortunately mine are up between 5-6am, so as you can imagine not much writing is being done! Anyhooooo, great work hon. Sounds like you’ve got a fab routine xxx

    1. sophieblovett Post author

      I have always wanted to be a morning person, but never ever managed it… I used to have to get up at 6am (or earlier) for work, but I could never do it voluntarily! I’m just hoping now that Arthur’s going to stick to his currently very reasonable wake-up time else that would scupper things entirely… I don’t know how you’re getting anything done! Looking forward to reading the latest snippet from your novel 🙂 xxx

  2. Kate Orson

    I can totally relate to this! I just read your post at 6am as I eat my breakfast and get ready to do some writing. I’m not a nighttime person at all but luckily my 4 year old daughter is, so we usually go to bed at the same time around 930. Then I get a few extras hours in the morning. Bliss!

    1. sophieblovett Post author

      Thanks for commenting 🙂 My problem is that I am a night time person – just not for writing! So I’m on a mission at the moment to break a lifetime of bad habits and go to bed early whenever I can… Not doing massively well at the moment. Hence why I’m so tired in the mornings!

  3. maddy@writingbubble

    I’m a total night owl and really struggle to get to bed in the evenings because early nights don’t come naturally. Even when I do go to bed early I end up reading till midnight! Then every morning I wish I’d gone to bed earlier as I hate getting up. It’s a funny thing sleep-deprivation though, as when my youngest was little I was exhausted and yet incredibly creative and productive. You’re doing so well to behave like a ‘lark’ when you’re a natural ‘owl’ – glad it’s working for you! Thanks for linking to #WhatImWriting

    1. sophieblovett Post author

      It sounds like we are incredibly similar in this regard 🙂 I’m still not managing the early nights very well, but scrabbling around for positives whilst I’m zoning out over my desk in the morning! The word count’s creeping up though, and that’s all that matters right now, right? xx

  4. agentspitback

    I can relate to this. I always find that I can write early in the morning, before anyone is up. It’s the peace and tranquility that seems to help. #WHatImWriting

  5. Rachael

    I’m not a natural morning person either! But there’s something about having a deadline (of having to get my son up for school if he’s not up already) that forces the words… I often free-write half a blog post or poem between 5.30 and 6.30am! I like writing at night but having the whole night ahead can mean I procrastinate and self-edit a lot more.. I hope the reasonable wake-up time continues for you! 🙂

  6. Pingback: Why early mornings are good for my wellbeing as well as my word count | Sophie is…

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