Larks vs Owls – When do you do your writing?

Are you a night owl, with Novlr set to white on black so not to disturb your partner, or are you a lark? Up at the crack of dawn, energized to write the whole day ahead. This blog will explore a few of the differences between the two sets of writers, but as the Scientific American states:

Numerous studies have demonstrated that our best performance on challenging, attention-demanding tasks—like studying in the midst of distraction—occurs at our peak time of day. When we operate at our optimal time of day, we filter out the distractions in our world and get down to business

Now peak time is not 9-5, but the peak time for you. So worry not Night Owls, if your peak time is 3 am, then get your writing done then!


Research has shown that willpower reduces over the course of the day. Our ability to persist reduces as the day goes on, and Lark’s are lucky enough to be at the coal face when it comes to willpower. There is also research which shows that the early risers are getting the most of their pre-frontal cortex, where all the fizzy ideas come from. This region is still active just after you wake, which is why many people have their best ideas in the shower, as delta waves and the pattern of water falling on you enables your mind to make connections it may not have at other times.

Charles Dickens was a Lark and would finish writing at 2pm. This is revealing in that many authors say that approaching writing as a job, and having a routine, is more productive than figuring out the ‘best’ time to write.

Larks are often viewed by others as persistent, cooperative, conscientious, proactive and agreeable.

Larks however don’t have it all their own way, with research showing that actually when it comes to editing, the Night Owls may have the advantage.


As with all good science, many of the papers contradict one another. Research carried out by Mareike Wietha and Rose Zacks on creative problem solving and analysis suggests that contrary to what we may think about Lark’s being the most creative, actually we solve our hardest problems when we are tired as the brain narrows its focus, and concentrates on one thing at a time. As a result, Night Owls make great editors. The mind slows towards the end of the day enabling the spotting of errors.

Numerous studies also show that Night Owls demonstrate a behavior called ‘novelty-seeking‘. This means that they crave new experiences, and this enables them to come up with new ideas as they are gathering these new experiences.

Night Owls are also more likely to smoke and drink, again this relates to the novelty seeking behavior. But that is because Larks are more likely to be compliant and conformist compared to owls. However no one procrastinates like an Owl.


So which are you? #TeamLark or #TeamOwl?

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