By Amber Roshay
Most people think I’m crazy when I tell them I get up at 4 a.m. In fact, I am a little crazy, but that’s beside the point. But that’s not why I get up so early. The real reason and perhaps the best reason why I’m up at 4 a.m. is that I get up to write. You read that right, I’m a 4 a.m. writer.
I’m a working mom raising two kiddos under three, so my time is limited. I can hear what you’re thinking. She has to get up early. Otherwise, she wouldn’t.
It’s true that before I had kids I would have never considered getting up that early. Getting up before 9 a.m. was a chore. Even if a writer I respected told me to get up early and write, I wouldn’t have listened. I thought that I knew who I was and what I could accomplish. But I was wrong.
You see becoming a mom forced me to re-evaluate how I use my time and tap into my mom strength. My pilates teacher calls mom strength that last effort you have stored but didn’t know you had.
Well, I have to tap into my mom strength every day, and one way I do this is get up at 4 a.m. to write.
But everyone has mom strength, regardless of if you’re a parent or not. What I do wish is that I knew this before I was a mom. I can just imagine what I would have accomplished.Not convinced? Let me tell you why I’m a 4 a.m. writer.
When you get up at 4 a.m to write, you wake up before everyone. The house is quiet, the coffee is brewing and even before kiddos start to rustle you have finished five pages or rewritten the introduction to perfection or caught up on much-needed reading for the piece you’re writing.
Not only are there fewer distractions, but getting up at 4 a.m. will help you reach your writing goals.
During a six-month period of being a 4.a.m. writer, I got paid to write seven articles, co-wrote an ebook about writing, started a parenting and writing blog with my best friend and created and launched an online blogging/writing course while working full-time as an English professor and raising two kids.
None of this would have happened if I hadn’t gotten up early.
If you want to check out the course I created, you can click here. This course is twenty years in the making of tears and sweat from teaching and writing.
I had a lot of struggles getting the course together because my husband got in an accident during the making of it, but I still made the writing and blogging course happen because I got up early.
But reaching your writing goals isn’t truly why you should get up early. Although it’s a huge part of the reward, the real reason that you should become a 4 a.m writer is that you’ll find it personally satisfying.
For me, it was the first time I had a consistent writing schedule that I met every day for months. There was never a chance that a friend would invite me over at 4 a.m. or that I’d have any of the other scheduling conflicts that could happen during the day.
So, I had two hours per day for thirty days a month. That’s 60 hours per month solely for my writing. Not since I had gotten my MFA in Creative Writing, had I dedicated that much time to my craft.
And that brings me to the last reason why I’m a 4 a.m. writer. You have a writing schedule. If I could go back to the pre-mom writer, I would have put a tattoo on my arm telling me to get up and write every day at 4 a.m.
Finding and setting a writing schedule is one of the most important things you must do as a writer.
Writing is as much about talent as it’s about practice.
I love it when I hear people say you can’t teach people how to write. I love it because I know this isn’t true.
I’ve taught lots of people how to write. Sure, talent matters, but building your craft takes practice. And lots of it.
But writing based on inspiration or not following a schedule will mean you practice less.
Positive change happens due to consistent choices over a period of time.
Some days, I barely write a page. Other days, I mess around with a plugin on my blog, losing valuable writing time.
But over a period of time, the amount of writing adds up and leads to reaching my writing goals.
I can hear your objections through the computer screen.
But I can’t get up at 4 a.m.
Yes, you can.
You see my husband was the person who inspired me. He was in school and right after our second child was born, the only time he had was before they got up.
So for a few months, I thought he was crazy, then one day, I decided to try it. For the first month, I hated it. But slowly I began to see how much I had written, how I was getting paid to write, and how for two hours, I focused on something just for me.
So you don’t need kids to do this. You just need the desire to write, and I promise that you’ll thank me for it.
Of course, if you can’t even imagine getting up that early than when can you write? What two hours of your day can you block off for your writing? Find those two hours and don’t give them away to anyone or anything.
In fact, join our writing and blogging course, Get Paid to Write Quality Blog Posts. In this course, you’ll not only learn how to craft quality blog posts, personal essays and more, but you’ll create a writing schedule that works and (gulp) if I can convince ya, become a 4 a.m. writer with me.
And you won’t even have to use your mom strength.
When you do you like to write and why? Let me know if the comments below.
Not ready to commit to a class? Check out our FREE Writing Challenge over on our home page. We'll send you inspiration emails with writing prompts and at the end of 3 writing days you'll have written 3,000 words!