Are you a night owl or an early bird?

Have you ever wondered about the writing habits of famous writers? Here are some interesting facts I found about when they preferred to do their writing. 








  • Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805) – German poet, philosopher, physician, historian, playwright
  • Tom Wolfe (1931 – ) – American journalist, author
  • Robert Frost (1874-1963) – American poet
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881) – Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, journalist, philosopher
  • J. D. Salinger (1919-2010) – American writer known for his novel The Catcher in the Rye
  • Franz Kafka (1883-1924) – German-language writer of novels, short stories; widely regarded as a major figure of 20th-century literature
  • William Faulkner (1897-1962) – American writer of novels, short stories, a play, poetry, essays, screenplays
  • Rachel Carson (1907-1964) – American marine biologist and conservationist whose book Silent Spring and other writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement.
  • Marcel Proust (1871-1922) – French novelist, critic, essayist
  • John O’Hara (1905-1970) – American writer of short stories; a best-selling novelist before the age of thirty
  • Mary Louise Booth (1831-1889) – American editor (including Harper’s Bazaar), translator, writer
  • James Baldwin (1924-1987) – American novelist, essayist, poet, playwright, social critic
  • Alan Ginsberg (1926-1997) – American poet; a leading figure of both the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the following counterculture
  • Pablo Neruda (1904-1973 ) – Chilean poet-diplomat and politician; 1971 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature
  • James Joyce (1882-1941) – Irish novelist, short story writer, poet; one of the most influential and important authors of the 20th century
  • T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) – British essayist, publisher, playwright, literary and social critic
  • Honore de Balzac (1799-1850) – French novelist and playwright
  • Danielle Steel (1947 – ) – American novelist currently the best selling author alive and the fourth best selling fiction author of all time
  • Carol Ann Duffy (1955 – ) – Scottish poet and playwright; Britain’s Poet Laureate in May 2009
  • Richard Brautigan (1935-1984) – American novelist, poet, short story writer







At 4:00 A.M.
  •  Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) – American poet, novelist, and short story writer

At 5:00 A.M.

  • Jack London (1876-1916) – American novelist, journalist, social activist; a pioneer in commercial magazine fiction; one of the first to obtain fame and fortune from fiction alone, including science fiction
  • Katherine Ann Porter (1890-1980) – Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist, essayist, short story writer, novelist, political activist
  • Toni Morrison (1931 – ) – American novelist, editor, Pulitzer and Nobel prize winner

At 5:30 A.M.

  • Anthony Trollope (1815-1882) – English novelist of the Victorian era
  • Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007) – American writer of novels, short story collections, plays, works of non-fiction
At 6:00 A.M.
  • W. H. Audsen (1907-1973) – English poet; later became an American citizen
  • Graham Greene (1904-1991) – English novelist regarded by some as one of the great writers of the 20th century
  • Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) – American novelist, short story writer, and journalist
  • Victor Hugo (1802-1885) – French poet, novelist, dramatist of the Romantic movement; one of the greatest and best-known French writers
  • Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977) – Russian-American novelist and entomologist. First nine novels were in Russian; achieved international prominence after he began writing English prose
  • Edith Wharton (1862-1937) – Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, short story writer, designer; nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1927, 1928 and 1930.

At 7:00 A.M.

  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1794-1832) – statesman and German writer of a wide variety of genres

At 8:00 A.M.

  • Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964) – American writer and essayist; an important voice in American literature, she wrote novels, short stories, reviews, commentaries.
  • Wallace Stegner (1909-1993) – American novelist, short story writer, environmentalist, historian; 1972 Pulitzer Prize winner; 1972 U.S. National Book Award winner

At 9:00 A.M.

  • C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) – British novelist, poet, academic, essayist, medievalist, literary critic, lay theologian, broadcaster, lecturer, Christian apologist; author of the Narnia Chronicles
  • Thomas Mann (1875-1955) – German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist; 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1927-2014) – Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter, journalist
  • Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) – Russian writer Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (in English Leo Tolstoy); regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time
  • Gore Vidal (1925-2012) – American writer and a public intellectual with a polished style of writing
  • Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) – an English writer; one of the foremost modernists of the twentieth century
  • Ray Bradbury (1920-2012) – an American fantasy, science fiction, horror and mystery fiction author and screenwriter

At 9:30 A.M.

  • Carson McCullers (1917-1967) – American novelist, short story writer, playwright, essayist, poet

At 10:00 A.M.

  • Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) – British playwright, novelist,  short story writer; among the most popular writers of his era


It amazes me how much one can accomplish at the earliest times in the morning. I wouldn’t be able to function during the rest of the day!

Now my question to you is … are you a writer who prefers a certain time to write or a reader who has a preferred reading time? Or maybe you have a best time for exercise or meditation? What time works best for you, and why?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂


12 responses to “Are you a night owl or an early bird?

  1. Even though I am a morning person, I tend to write more at night. I get more alone time then. Although I write whenever I get a chance. Morning, noon or night.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think I have established the best time for my writing when I can actually write. It’s mostly just whenever inspiration hits, and when no one is around to distract me. That varies considerably. I do seem to prefer late night, though, when my slice of the world blankets itself in quiet.
      So, Darlene, when you say you write more at night, is this when others are sleeping?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yup, hubby and dog are sleeping. It is also when my North American friends and family are up, so I connect with them then. So I still have distractions. Today I spent all afternoon writing as hubby was out on his motorbike. So it varies but I need solid chunks of uninterrupted time.


  2. I’m a morning girl. My preference would be 8 am to about 2 pm, but family needs usually shorten that to 10 am to noon, but I’m glad for any time I can get!! 🙂


  3. I used to be an early bird, but now I’m a teenager. 😦 I need to start getting back to going to bed earlier and waking up earlier. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those teenage years do make a difference in the body’s sleep requirements. It’s all in how you manage it, Erik, and I’m sure you will figure out what works best for you. 🙂


  4. Lynn, I just love lists like this 🙂 There are books about the habits, too! You know, I’ve been a night owl most of my life and I can tell you, for a fact, that it’s NOT good for your health. Even though I burn candles at both ends, the times I’ve forced myself to get to bed early and wake up early, I accomplish SO much more. Early mornings can be extremely productive 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Donna Marie, I really like being a night owl, enjoying alone time into late evenings. I also feel so charged by early morning, but not so much after enjoying staying up late reading or writing. I haven’t figured out yet how to do both equally and be rested and energetic. 🙂 I don’t have a lot of choice on my weeks with Dad, but at home? usually my only excuse is I like staying up. I think I have to improve that so I can accomplish more.
      Thanks for your comment. 🙂


  5. I am definitely an early bird in my writing as well as my exercising. I try to be at my desk by 5:45 AM and take a break after a couple of hours to dance or walk or stretch my way into more writing until later in the afternoon. I’m a night owl reader for sure. This is a fascinating post. Thank you 👍


    • Welcome to my blog, Pam. I’m glad you enjoyed this post. So you write early and read late, and you teach writing (I peeked at your blog). It’s nice you know what times work best for you; I’m still sorting that out.
      Thanks for your comment. 🙂


I look forward to reading your greatly appreciated comments. Thanks for making my day! :)

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