Monday, May 16, 2011

Is Bedtime the Writetime?

After considering a few different topics late this Sunday night, I've settled on one very close to my heart: Bedtime. I'm not talking about the bedtime of small people who need stories and songs and books and prayers and kisses and drinks of water (but not too many sips because how many times can one mom wash bedsheets?). No, I'm talking about OUR bedtime.

Before I really immersed myself in writing, I went to bed at the reasonable hour of ten o'clock at night. (This gave me enough time to do my dishes AND watch House Hunters.) I had a child who woke up throughout the night still, but I managed to lay down with the rest of the world. Then when I started writing (and okay, blogging) bedtime and I were no longer friends.

This is a shame because I like sleep. I really feel I need sleep. And I've struggled a lot with this because I also really like to write. (You may refer to another post on choosing sleeping over writing. It's not pretty.) Does it have to be one or the other, though? I mean, if I managed my time better couldn't I sleep AND write? (And does staying up late REALLY shave minutes off my life like my mom says?)

I know I'm not alone because there is that little organization of women many of us are involved in-American NIGHT WRITERS Association. So what I'd really like to know is how late are you up? It would be nice to know who is up burning the midnight oil with me. Me? Midnight has been my average bedtime, but I've been shooting for eleven o'clock lately. Do some of you manage to stay up later than this AND function like a normal person the next day? If so, I might be jealous because THINK OF ALL YOU CAN GET DONE! (I really felt like John Travolta in Phenomenon wasted a lot of those nighttime hours by NOT writing a book.)

(Of course, while I'd like to say that EVERY late night is on account of writing, it isn't. There is laundry, movies with Husband, the occasional baking of chocolate-chip cookies at ten thirty, and Children. I'm sure that my children are involved in a conspiracy to rob me of my sleep because often JUST as I lay down to sleep, he wants a drink of water or she wakes up. I may have also blogged about this.) (Wow, three posts in my blogging life on sleep. i need a nap.)


  1. I have to make a serious, dedicated effort (with help from DH) to get to bed before midnight. When I'm working hard or in the groove, it's often 1 or 1:30 before I get to bed.

    I've been thinking about this a lot since "arise early" came up twice in the last conference. I've tried, but I am just DEAD (cognitively) when I wake up early. And it always seems like the earlier I get up, the earlier the kids get up. :\

  2. I can't write at night, my brain is more of a morning creature. Always has been.

    Good luck figuring it out!

  3. A few years ago I would have been up with you at midnight. My most recent baby (now 5) changed all that. I wake up around five and use those quiet hours for study and writing, but to be honest, I don't feel as productive as I did when I'd write late at night. Fun post:)

  4. I can't write at night. I just don't have any brain left after about 7pm. So I enjoy writing first thing in the morning (I'm using the word "enjoy" very loosely here) and whenever else I can sneak in a few minutes here and there. For me it just depends on if my brain is turned on or already in sleep mode even if my eyes are still open!

  5. Jordan! I'll be thinking of you tonight when I'm not asleep, too.

    Lisa-A morning creature sounds so much nicer than a night creature.

    Tamara-That will be awhile for me as we would like to EXPAND the current size of our family.

    Nikki-My brain turns on when your brain falls sleep.

  6. Now that I'm pregnant, 9pm feels like midnight. So even though it's 9pm here right now, I'm sort of up late with you.

  7. I'm a night owl, always have been, but I chose to follow the good old "early to bed early to rise" advise. So I wake up early, super early for me. 5:30 am. I work out for 30 min. Then I write from 6 to 8 am. ...I nap at 1pm!

    S.B. Niccum
    Author Website



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