Writing Assignment: Write About Getting Out Of Bed

by Randy Murray on January 31, 2014

One of the most distinctive personal experiences is how one gets up and out of bed after a night’s sleep (or whatever time of day you sleep).

My wife prefers to let the alarm go off, then to drowse for fifteen or twenty minutes before getting up. I immediately throw back the covers, stand up, and get moving. We’ve learned to accommodate each other’s eccentricities.

My daughters have their own waking styles. Woe be ye who tries to have pleasant chat with my oldest daughter within a hour of waking. The younger one is suspiciously chipper at almost any time of the day, including immediately after waking.

And then there are all of the steps that we follow. Many of us have our patterns, our rituals, that allow us to move into the day.  The way that we awaken and start our days helps to define who we are and how we prepare ourselves for the world. It’s worth exploring this and how we do this common thing. It’s reveling when we think about how others do the same thing. It’s an excellent way to explore a fictional character. How do they wake and start their day?

For today’s assignment, write a short piece detailing your daily routine following waking from sleep. Be very detailed. Write this for yourself. Hold nothing back. If you’re grumpy, write about WHY you act that way. If you leap out of bed smiling it would be interesting to know how that happens as well. What all do you need to do before you can talk with others, when you can begin your day?

I recommend first writing the steps that you perform and then adding the details of why each step must be done in this precise way, in this exact order (or why it doesn’t matter to you).

For bonus points, after you’ve completed your own essay, write another featuring someone else’s experience of waking. See if you can tease out why they do things the way they do. Imagine yourself in their body and what they need to get up and moving. Write and test your empathetic abilities.

And then, the next time you sleep and wake, think about their process and try it on for yourself. That would make an excellent thing to write about.

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