Why I’ve been getting up at 6 a.m. lately

I’ve been getting up at 6 a.m. lately, for the last two or three weeks, to do something remarkable.

But before you think I’m just an “early bird” let me tell you that up until recently: 1) my ideal sleep scenario involved NO alarm clocks and waking up naturally, usually between 8:30 and 9, and, 2) after a fairly recent and excruciating bout of sleep deprivation à la new baby turned into toddler, …

… if you had had the audacity to suggest that I would get up at 6 a.m. for ANYTHING I would have reacted with revulsion.


That said, here I am, pretty much daily — even on weekends! — getting up at 6 a.m. to WRITE.

And I LOVE it.

Love it!

How insane is that?

The Fear of Writing Has Turned Into a Fear of Not Writing

Today Isabel asked me to think back to what it was like before I was writing regularly, about what that was like. I almost cried. And a wave of fear went through my stomach.

See, the thing is, I’ve crossed a line.

It’s the invisible line between terror in the face of writing and terror at the thought of not writing.

How did that happen?

I mean, of course I know the answer (decision, commitment, regular and consistent action, accountability, passion, etc.) but How. Did. That. Happen?

It’s truly amazing.

Does It Really Matter?

But why, you may be asking, why, Jenna, does it really matter if you get up at 6 a.m. to write? Why not write at 9? Or 3 p.m.?

It does matter. At least to me.

  • It matters because when I start writing before I’ve entirely woken up, my inner critic is a LOT quieter. In fact, I hardly hear from him at all. And that makes my life SO much easier.
  • It matters because when I get up early to do my soul’s true work first, I feel a deep answer to the Powers That Be saying, “Here I am. I am doing my part.”
  • It matters because when I put my Big Dream FIRST in my day, I feel calm for the rest of the day. And that calm is highly addictive.
  • It matters because I’m showing myself, deep down, that I’ve reorganized my life around my passion for writing and I really, really mean it.

I don’t know if I’ll keep doing this — I think I will — but so far, it rocks as successful experiments go. I was inspired to try this by hearing about so many writers that get up so early to write. I figured they must know something I don’t.

Holy smokes, they were right!

Enough About Me

What about you? How are you making your Big Dream a priority in your life? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.



Join us for the ongoing journey

Join the Writer's CircleThe next session of the Writer’s Circle starts soon. The Circle is a bit like a giant sandbox where you get to experiment with your writing habit, see what works, see what doesn’t, and end your isolation as a writer by writing alongside other writers committed to showing up and doing the work. Find out more and register here: http://JustDoTheWriting.com



  1. “I’ve reorganized my life around my passion for writing and I really, really mean it.”

    yes, Yes, YES!
    I’m just settling into a newly reorganized way of showing up that puts my passions first, and I’m feeling oh so respected! …and dare I say loved! I suspect I’ll need to reorganize again and again throughout my life, as I and my passions grow. I trust that I’ll do what I need to do to nurture and make room for the stuff that these passions are made of.

  2. Hi Jenna,
    How nice that you had a date with your husband for your birthday! I loved your blog post and I am so impressed, as I find 6 AM a horrifying time myself. But, isn’t the power of a daily creative practice simply amazing? You feel empowered and content because you are in action! How exciting! I especially like the part about your inner critic being too “sleepy” to bug you ,so that you feel free! Enjoy being in the groove!

  3. Hi Jenna
    I just feel I need to share with you that I’ve been inspired by your articles, and by your writing tips series, to set aside sacred writing time every day. Just 15 minutes a day at this point, but I frequently go over; it has been a little over a week now and I have stuck to it every day. I can’t tell you what it has done for me. A part of me feels so thrilled and energised that I am getting the ideas out of my head and on to the page, finally, and creating. This sense of satisfaction with myself has actually had a ripple effect in the rest of my life and I actually feel a distinct self-esteem boost and greater security as a person. And the most wonderful, subtle feeling of happiness. The writing wraps around my day like a bracket, and adds a sense of accomplishment to it that I didn’t have before. Sharing my ideas (tentatively at first, at this stage only really with my boyfriend) gives me accountability and also helps me feel like an artist.

    I myself am not a morning person and oddly, I actually feel fresher and more creative in the evening, which is when I do my writing. I strongly feel that it is very important to give ourselves permission to do our writing (or creative work) in the setting and way which works best for us as individuals and not to feel we have to stick to a “formula”, because each soul has its own unique requirements. I myself find it much easier to write and I find the writing flows much faster when I write by hand, rather than type, to use an example!

  4. Hi Jenna,

    Congrats on your success with writing! I also used to get up early to write before I went to work, and while I loved the feeling of getting it done first thing in the morning, I was trying to squeeze too much into my morning. So now I meditate and do morning pages in the morning and do my writing in the evening. I also write longhand. Things have been going great since I participated in NaNoWriMo as well.

    Thanks for the encouragement,

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.