The world is different at night. Those early morning hours before the sun rises, it seems no one is awake, no one is moving around ready for the world.
Even if you live in a big city. Maybe you hear some far off traffic. A train somewhere in the distance. Still it seems the world is your private microcosm.
There’s not much one can do at 4am. There are no appointments to keep. No errands to run. No one to call. Polite society (and even maybe not so polite society) are, too, in their own little secular places.
It’s quiet, mostly. It’s serene. The crickets are quieting. The birds are stretching.
All there is to do is reflect, to write, to enjoy the chill in the pre-dawn air, and the peace that has not yet been disturbed.
It’s a special time for us, artists, writers, thinkers to belong. We are separate but together.
No, not me. I don’t get up at 4am, but some successful writers have.
Auden, Hugo, and others woke at 4am
Vonnegut and Angelou woke around 5am.
Milton and others at 6.
Sadly, I’m more along the lines of Stephen King, I like to be in my writing chair by 8 with a cup of tea; however, if I wake up earlier or later, it doesn’t mean I waste time. I get my rear in that chair – inspiration or no inspiration. Sometimes I start writing and don’t stop until hunger threatens; sometimes I stare at a blank page forcing words to lay down.
Occasionally, I consider attempting this 4am lifestyle. But I wonder how effective I’d be for the rest of my day. I’d have to change my thinking first – about sleep and the lack thereof. I value a good night’s sleep.
However, it’s true – 4am – no disruptions, no appointments, no phones ringing, no neighbors knocking on your door. 4am does have it’s benefits.
It’s not imperative to get up early (although studies show earlier risers are generally happier!); it is paramount to have a routine. Mine works best when I roll out of bed, make tea, shove open the curtains, and start writing.