Monday, June 28, 2010
Alarm Clocks are the Tools of Satan
When do you write? What's your golden hour? If you were the boss of this world, when would you fire up the laptop and put the do-not-disturb sign on the doorknob?
For me, it would be when the house got quiet, at 10 p.m. or so. I do my best writing at the end of a day, when I've had that day to ponder on my WIP, my characters, the plot. It settles somehow, and the important stuff rises to the top.
Unfortunately, I do not live in an Owl World. I live in a Lark World, and I happen to be married to a Lark. If I ever achieve World Domination, one of the things on my to-do list would be to make sure that all those early-morning birds had to stay up past midnight and be happy about it.
I've never been a cheerful riser in the mornings. Like The Kiddo, I grump and I growl unless I can wake on my own -- and that is when the sun hits my face. An alarm clock? That's just another name for a diabolical tool of Satan.
But after living four decades in a world run strictly by Larks, and especially after the 10 years of public school that The Kiddo has been subject to, my internal body clock is completely screwed up.
At ten p.m., my brain is raring to go, but my poor body is pushed beyond its limit. I marvel at the way I used to routinely pull all-nighters when I was in college two decades ago -- not because I procrastinated, but because I worked three jobs and took course overloads. There is absolutely no way I could pull an all-nighter now.
At 6:30 the next morning, my eyes pop open, and my body is miserably awake. My brain? It won't REALLY kick in until nearly another four hours.
Now I tell you, what good is being awake if your brain is not engaged?
I've known early morning writers -- lots of writers swear by that early morning time. I've tried it. It frustrates me, though, because if I start writing early in the morning, I make grr noises at the dayjob. I want to stay at my keyboard all day long -- or at least until lunch.
But if I sit down at the keyboard at 10 p.m., I can get so much done in a couple of hours, then crash and go to bed and not resent the call of the Sandman. In an ideal world, the next morning, when the sun wakes me up, I lie in bed and think about what I wrote the night before and start working out the next chapter.
In the real world? I crack open a bleary eye, realize it's 6:45 and I've hit the snooze button twice, and roll out of bed. And by ten AM? I'm dusting off those Plans for Achieving World Domination so that I can turn the world into an Owl refuge.