“Seldom Have I Realized So Keenly, Appreciated So Fully, These Still, Dark Hours.”

“Peace again!–The exquisite hour before dawn, here at my old desk–seldom have I realized so keenly, appreciated so fully, these still, dark hours.”

— Edward Weston, Daybooks

Yesterday I posted about how much I love working in the early morning, and why I think it’s a strategy to consider for people who lack time to pursue something important; I’m often reminded of this line from Weston’s diaries.


Happier at Home hits the shelves in less than a month! To celebrate, I’m giving away one book each day for the next few weeks.

Enter your name and email in the sign-up form here, and every day, someone will be picked at random. Open to readers in U.S., Canada, and U.K. only–sorry about that restriction on the give-away. (I need to update the form, which doesn’t include U.K., but U.K. is included.)

If you’re wondering about the book, you can…

–learn more about it here

–read a sample chapter on the subject of “time” here

–email me for a one-page reading group guide here

listen to a clip from the audio-book here

pre-order the book here (pre-orders give a big boost to a book, so I really appreciate pre-orders!)

  • Kay

    My first HUGE disappointment with the whole Happiness Project—to read the excerpt we HAVE to login with Facebook, have this all over Facebook, and have our whole life on display for the data miners working with Facebook. No, thank you. My first turn off as a major follower and fan…BIG turn-off.

    • gretchenrubin

      No, sorry, you don’t have to go through Facebook at all. Here’s a direct link: http://www.scribd.com/doc/99613546/Happier-at-Home-by-Gretchen-Rubin-Excerpt


      • Nina

        The scribd link still makes us login with FB. Too bad.

        • gretchenrubin

          It’s not supposed to – supposed to be available without any kind of log-in whatsoever. I’m investigating! Stay tuned!


  • LivewithFlair

    Great advice! I have found that when I wake up, and I have these genius creative thoughts (or else they just seem that way 🙂 that drain out of me as the days goes on! When I get right to my writing for that first hour of the day before the children wake up, I find the writing seems so fresh and alive compared to later in the day. And I have to find writing time since I finally signed with an agent (YIPPPEEEE!)

  • Anne

    I’m an extreme day person, and I really enjoy the hours before the phone starts, before traffic starts, before demands and expectations start. However, I find that it comes at a price. First, my necessarily early bedtime means that I miss out on a lot of events, unless they’re offered as matinees. And second, owl-people just don’t understand. They often don’t understand that it doesn’t work for me to stay up for some event, that it’s not enjoyable for me the way it is for them.

  • Kat

    Unrelated question: Is anyone else having trouble zooming in on the screen on their iPad? I used to be able to double-tap but now nothing is happening. I haven’t had this problem since Gretchen redesigned the website. It has been like this for over a week. Maybe it is just me?

    Although I realize I can increase the font with the reader, it doesn’t apply to the comments section. Is there something I’m doing wrong?

    • Kat

      I should clarify, this is not the zoom feature in settings/accessibility. it is the standard magnification that works with a double-tap. not sure of the official technical name.
      i am not having this trouble on other websites. thanks.

  • Jill James

    Gretchen (aka Always Be Gretchen)…..I adored The Happiness Project. Everyone with small children should own a copy (just to be more conscious about the passage of time). You are much more analytical than me ~ it sounds like your husband is more like my personality and my husband is more like you! One thing I never did when my children were little was to say “Hurry Up”….it always really bugged me to see parents constantly rushing their kids through childhood.

    Thank you for the sneak peek into Happier at Home….

  • laelliott

    Am so enjoying your posts lately; is it me or are they getting a little pithier?