I thought to myself, "If he can do it, I can do it!" And so I did - going to bed at 10 and getting up at 4 am, cocooning myself in a warm robe and heading downstairs, trying hard not to wake anyone, so I could turn on the lights and a space heater in my office where I sorted stacks of paper (mostly photocopies of California medical archives) so I could write the fictional story of Dr. Jack Pitman, the young protagonist in my book, Inside the Barbary Coast.
The discipline paid off. What I learned in the process is that you (and only you) have to set your own priorities, and it starts with taking care of yourself. When I first got married, I used to tell my wife: "Eat right, exercise, and get plenty of rest" -- to which she would jokingly add, "And take Geritol twice a day!!" recalling a well-known television commercial. "You can, if you want!" I replied, usually adding that if you eat right, you don't need vitamin supplements. But she knew that this was part of my constitution: to exercise every morning, eat balanced meals, and ensure I got enough rest, even getting up at 4 in the morning, to not be tired during the day.
Teachers routinely have to get up at 5 am to get ready and drive often considerable commutes to be prepared when their students walk in the door at 7:30. It requires creativity -- maybe having some exercise equipment at home to work out, rather than going to a gym -- and discipline to have lesson plans prepared well in advance so that your personal life is not stressed or in disarray. With the amount of energy teachers expend in their craft, they cannot afford to be inefficient about how they spend it.