What do you do when it’s 4:00 AM and you’re feeling inspired but you’re surrounded by darkness? Do you wait for it to be light outside and everyone else is awake, or do you seize the moment?
There’s something about the early AM that makes the air shiver with creative potential: You get your best ideas, you see ways of doing things you might not have before, you feel a connection to your inner, higher self that you don’t recognize throughout the busy day when there are people around.
Writers, artists, and creatives of all stripes know about the golden hours just before dawn: Toni Morrison, Ernest Hemingway, and Haruki Murakami just to name a few. Many modern unsung creatives get their best lyrics or strokes out before the sun rises too. Here are tips on how to wake up early.
From Mason Currey, author of Daily Rituals: (LINK)
One of my favorite habits from the Daily Rituals research came from Nicholson Baker, who also prefers to work just after waking. “The mind is newly cleansed but it’s also befuddled and you’re still just plain sleepy,” he told me in an interview. “I found that I wrote differently then.” Baker likes this feeling so much that he developed a strategy to squeeze two mornings out of one day. He will get up around 4 or 4:30 a.m. and write for an hour and a half—but then he goes back to sleep until 8:30 and gets up again, this time turning his attention to “daylight kind of work,” like transcribing an interview or editing what he wrote during the first morning session.
It’s even rumored that Jay-Z’s album 4:44 is a product of this creative, inspiring hour.
What about you? When the bolt of creativity hits but you haven’t yet risen to start the day, will you wait? Or will you create?