Five Benefits of Waking Up Early to Write

Douglas Crets
3 min readOct 29, 2015

A friend recently ask me, “How do you get up the energy to sit down and write so early in the morning?”

I thought about it. “Medium makes it easy.”

I used to, randomly, wake up and write things in a journal, but often that journal would go unmarked because somehow the incentive of just knowing something about myself was not as important over time.

As I got older — I am 40 years old now — I knew more about myself. I became comfortable with msyelf. And fewer things became a mystery within myself.

What became more important, it was clear, was what was going on with other people? Were they like me?

So the incentive to write early in the morning is really about creating a collection of thoughts that connect me to other people. Here are the five benefits of waking up with a mindset to write, in order to find out how to connect with people on a deeper level.

  1. Work is sometimes not the place for meaningful conversations, but opening up a fresh page and filling that white space with “just whatever is going on right now,” kind of clears out all that anticipation or desire for that kind of connection with the first person you see in the morning. You can walk into work having a clear head, and actually be more open to what’s going on for them.
  2. Dating can be a minefield, if you don’t know what is going on for you. I find that having a clear head in the morning from writing means that, if done regularly, I don’t have any muddled understanding of myself and what I am looking for. I am able to approach dates with potential partners with a completely open mind. When I see a pattern I don’t like in a person, I know it’s not about me, and I can freely determine whether I want to spend time with that person anymore.
  3. The dream state where a lot of great ideas come from comes to you more regularly if the brain goes to sleep the night before knowing that there’s going to be a place for it to exercise in the morning. It’s kind of like a dog that jumps up in the morning, grabs its own leash, and drags you out of bed so that it can go pee. The brain just knows what it wants to do, and it prompts you to rush to the laptop — sorry, the coffee grinder and then the laptop — and get it out.
  4. Coffee and writing go so well together. They both produce intention. Think about it. That first whiff of a hand-ground Indonesian double washed bean. The chemex filter sopping wet and exuding the creamy notes of artisan craftsmanship for your cup? It makes you think you are at work on something. It makes you think that your focus was put to work to mold something out of undoctored and untouched material. The rest of your day gives you that same feeling that you have intention. Anything you touch is part of a shaping action that will help you realize something — whether its truth, or profit, or success.
  5. Writing has the same clearing out benefit as yoga, I think. I think of writing as the core exercise of a mind that is nimble, agile, and flexible. The more you do it, and the more you do it on a schedule, the more it feels like a natural part of your activities. And when it does, you move from having a forced mind, or a working mind, to a waking mind. One that receives and adjusts to observations, rather than one that reacts and tries to control situations. And you’ve seen people with yoga bodies. They look so calm and taut. That’s got to be the perfect metaphor for an active mind: taut like a string, and as nimble as a river.