I was working on my first book, Solaris Security, in 1998. I spent most of my writing after dinner and after kids were in bed, working around 9-11pm three or four nights each week. Most of the time, I’d write until I was head-bobbing and falling asleep mid-sentence. It was slow going.
Several people at work knew I was writing this book. One day in the break room, my colleague Mike Cattolico asked me how writing was going. I replied that I was getting a little bit done each night until I was falling asleep. Mike replied, “Dude! You need to flip that schedule: get up early, like 4am, and skim the cream off the top.”
That made sense to me. The very next day, I took his advice and tried it out. After several days of getting up at 4am and writing for a couple of hours before the kids woke up, I found that my productivity skyrocketed. He was right!
For twenty years now, I’ve been writing in the early morning hours, as well as on Saturday mornings (and sometimes all day Saturday). Last year, I made another change and stopped writing on the weekends, essentially spending fewer hours each week writing. But with the experience I’ve gained writing dozens of books over two decades, I’m getting as much writing done on weekday mornings, and I now have my weekends free for other things.