The Early Hour launched in September and we’ve posted an article every morning since then. These 5am articles are being read by thousands of people each day and we’re desperate to know who you are. But first, a message from the editor…
I’ve always liked getting up early. There were a few teenage years when hormones got the better of me and I was desperate to press snooze rather than go to college but that aside, I enjoy being up before the rest of the world: running around parks, going swimming or just sitting and reading.
However, when I had my daughter Joni in 2014, early mornings took on a new meaning. Suddenly it wasn’t all about me and exercising my body or my mind; it was about feeding a hungry baby. Or changing a shitty nappy. Or rushing to have a shower before my husband left for work. My early mornings were highjacked and despite loving the early days with Joni – and having a constant companion – I felt a little lonely.
I could deal with the priority shifting from me onto Joni; I knew that having a baby meant giving up a certain amount of your freedom (or maybe even ALL your freedom in the early months). But the three things I missed were intellectual stimulation, connecting with other adults and doing something first thing that made me feel GOOD.
So, during a 5am breastfeed, I decided to launch an online magazine offering enlightening/ stimulating/ humorous/ entertaining articles for people who are up early. It needed to be available on mobile phones because – let’s be honest – we all have them within grabbing distance of the bed, and to be interesting but accessible; somewhere everyone felt welcome.
The Early Hour
The following month, I launched The Early Hour. It meant that when feeding a baby/toddler breakfast, or commuting, or sitting on the loo, or having a quick coffee before heading out, people had something to read. It might be an interview with Benjamin Zephaniah about poetry and politics, or Arianna Huffington on sleep, or 5 Morning Habits of Entrepreneurs.
Starting my own business has been exciting, challenging and daunting – and I’ve learned so much already. Having a mention in The Times a few weeks back has really grown the readership, which is great, as has an article I wrote for The Guardian about motherhood and work. This has prompted me to look into how I can get the same people coming back again and again. The answer? By knowing exactly what it is that they like about The Early Hour.
So… It would be AMAZING to learn a bit more about you ; the readers. I’ve put together a really short questionnaire asking who you are, what you like reading and what you think of The Early Hour. It only takes a minute to answer, and will help me to make sure I’m putting up the right articles for YOU.
Thanks in advance for sharing your wisdom. And for reading The Early Hour. Without you, I’d still be feeling lonely and disconnected from the adult world. Having people visit the site and join conversations in the comment section or on social media is just the best.
Happy to share your thoughts on The Early Hour? Click here. And be as honest as you like – if there’s something we keep doing that you HATE (like capitalising words for emphasis) – tell us. Otherwise we’ll never know.
Annie Ridout (the editor)