Monday, May 28, 2018

Night Owl author with an Earlybird life

You know, no matter what time of day I try to write, I feel the most creative at night.

Over the years, I've tried to adapt to a more fluent writing schedule. i.e. Writing during the morning and daytime--even going as far as setting an alarm to wake up earlier to write before the day speeds ahead.

And no matter what I do, it never works. About the only time my head feels clear and open and my fingers feel like tapping along my keyboard for any project, be it novel writing or blogging, is at night, when the kiddos slumber and my house is dark and quiet. That is when my Muse wakes up.

This would be awesome if I was independently wealthy or my writing career was such that I could live off of it, but at this particular juncture, I have to work at my day job. Technically, it isn't as early as when I was a substitute teacher and had to wake up at 5:30am but usually after getting my kiddos to school in the morning, I have to leave for work by 9:30 and don't get home until at least 6pm or later on the weekends. Then usually I have dinner and family time and I catch up on TV shows with my hubby. We finally get the girls to bed sometime after 10 ish and then hubby and I chat and spend time together until about 11pm. I've thought about it and the family time with the girls and the "us" time with hubby have to stay.

Now it's between 11 and midnight and my Muse is poking my and insisting that I write. Sometimes I give in to him and sometimes the day has worn me down and I just need some sleep. Sadly, I know that if I give in to slumber, I will wash, rinse, repeat the next day and will probably not feel like writing until the next night. If I have a day off the next day, I give in to my Muse and run on a long manic, fevered adventure that leaves me glowing at the wonder of the written word. Unfortunately, they are few and far between.

I feel bad when a week whizzes by and I haven't given my Muse the time of day. I'm neglecting him and I can tell when it is too long and he is moody. He fights me when I try to start up again. I struggle with the words and imagery. It feels dry and almost painful. He sulks and broods and gives me the cold shoulder and I spend much of my time soothing him and cajoling him to come play with me again. I promise that I won't forget him for as long and gradually we have our grand adventures again.

Until I get busy working 40+ hours standing on my feet and then go ride bikes with the kiddos or take them to the water park or spend time with hubby. Then another week or 2 flies by before I poke my Muse and he is once again angry and hurt that I have not been there on the adventures.

He is not gone during those long periods. He does try to get a hold of me. When I'm in the shower, he'll show me a critical scene to one of my WIPs that I do not have time to write down and usually forget. In my car I can see the next scene in a story unfold before I pull into the parking lot at work and then push it to the side as I jump into my life. And most especially while I sleep next to my husband in the still hours of the early morning, he whispers to me, teasing me and taunting me about the epic climax or the cute meet that I won't remember in the light of the morning. I'll remember these moments (mostly) the next time I finally reach out to my Muse and I'm pretty sure he remembers them, too. And that is why he is so upset with me because he was trying to bridge the gap. He put more effort into our relationship.
I, on the other hand always put him last and he knows it. One day, maybe he'll leave for good. I certainly hope not as that day would make my life bleaker.

But for now, my early day time schedule does not allow for my nighttime inspiration. But maybe I can compromise. Maybe instead of shooting into a three hour crazed marathon of creative writing, I can give just a little bit of my time to my Muse. Maybe a half hour will suffice to keep our connection strong and keep my Muse happy.
I can't quit my day job and I won't quit my family, but maybe it's time to let my Muse come visit more and maybe it would be good for me to go on a few more grand adventures.