Let’s discuss, if you care to! I was going to post about Korean food but then I realized that the post I had archived was already on my website. Lol. I have so much content I forget what I post! So let’s talk about this instead.
I listen to a lot of podcasts on writing and marketing for authors. Authors always love to sit down and talk about their methods: how they write, what they write, and WHEN they write.
The WHEN always gets me because SO MANY writers talk about how they get up at 5am to write in the morning before anyone can intrude on their time. This is such a strong and pervasive writing theme that there’s a group on Twitter devoted to it, the #5amwritersclub, and even I tried the whole writing/editing every day at 5am for a bit.
I have to admit that, even though I did do a stint where I woke up every day to work at 5am, it didn’t last long. I was working on revisions to one of the Nogiku books (I think it was REUNITED), and I spent a good portion of the hour staring into space and yawning.
I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON.
You have no idea what it takes to get me out of bed at 6:15am every day during the school year. Most days I do wake up before the alarm goes off, but I lie there, trying to motivate, going through email on my phone, staring into space, curling back up in a ball, and sometimes even drifting off again before I pull myself up and dress. By 7am, I’m only half functional, usually grunting my way through making breakfast for me and the kids. By 7:45am, I can be mostly human, packing lunches and repeating “GET READY FOR SCHOOL” over and over like a robot until we’re out the door and walking by 8:15am.
When I hear about these morning authors, the ones who are up at 5am and working on their craft, I think, “YOU ARE CRAZY” before I think “I WISH I COULD DO THAT.” Because I tried and it just did not work. I got through those edits of REUNITED, and I went back to “sleeping in” till 6:15am. Fuck that, I said. Half the time I was lucky if I got ANYTHING done.
So when I heard this quote from Toni Morrison, I remembered that there’s an edge of the day that I like even better, nighttime. When the house is quiet and the kids are in bed, I work, just like I am right now, writing this blog post past 10pm on a weekday. I like to be in bed and lights out by 11pm, but that does leave me a few hours to get stuff done between 8:30pm and then. I actually do my best work in the late morning and right after lunch, but nighttime works really well for me too. I thrive at night, if I’m not dead tired, and during the summer even more so because I’m charged up by the sun and all the Vitamin D!
I’ve been learning good lessons about my writerly habits as of late. Not only am I a nighttime person, but I’m also a binge writer. I don’t write my fiction every day, though I do write other things every day. I write my fiction in binges, like months of writing and then months of nothing. It can be a little disconcerting for sure, when I go months without something new, but I guess my habit of writing at the edges also includes this! I used to think I was a fairly moderate person, routine routine routine. And yes, I do like a good routine for normal life, but creative life needs room to expand and thrive. I do that at night and for months at a time until I’m spent! Funny how that happens, no?