Friday, September 07, 2012

My mom can tell you which meal she had to miss when each of us was born. I always thought this was a weird way to make me feel guilty, and not very effective, as I take no credit or blame for the hour of my birth.  That's just my biorhythm, the natural cycle at which my body works.

Sunrise. Not taken by me.
 I have friends who rise early to write or run, cook, clean, read, or some other thing at that unearthly hour. There are very few things I want to do badly enough to get up for before sunrise.
I used to email a writer friend, "good night" and she would email back a moment later, "good morning."  Four a.m. meant different things to us.  Crazy people who get up before the rooster crows can't understand how I can stay up and function just fine, thank you very much, for several hours after midnight.

We all search for people like ourselves in order to validate what we do, why we do it or how we do it. That may be one reason writers are asked "what's your process?"  When do I write? Late at night, of course.  I am most creative then.  I do edits during the day.  My muse is tucked away, softly snoring. (Don't tell her I said she snores, okay?  I need her in a good mood.)  I'm more analytical during the day.

Ah, sunset. More my style...and time of day.
People think I started writing late at night because I had babies when I "came out of the closet" as a writer and set to finish a manuscript.  That's partly true.  My house became peaceful after 10pm, with everyone abed.  I had two hours before my son would wake, but he went back to sleep easily enough, so I came to look on that break as a good time to stretch.  Then I had another two or three hours before I made myself go to bed.  An hour later, at four, my husband woke for work.  Bless his heart, he learned quickly I'm not a morning person.  Nor do I think him incapable of making his own breakfast or putting together a lunch.

Fortunately, my babies woke up cheerful in the morning.  They were just too cute to be grumpy with at 6 a.m.  They were so delighted with the world and with seeing mommy again.  I tried to live up to their expectations and earn that unconditional love.

I guess I'm feeling nostalgic (late hours make me emotional too, which may be why writing is easier for me at night).  My "babies" would be horrified to read stories of themselves as infants.  They'd be horrified to read about themselves here at all.  "Mo-o-om," I can hear them complain, as though they're sitting beside me reading my screen.  They're at that precious age--teenagers.  They've always appreciated that I don't expect them to get up early when they don't have school.  My mom used to vacuum outside my door. On Saturday morning. At seven thirty.

I think she was getting even with me for making her miss dinner so I could enter the world.  Because I was, of course, born late at night.

How 'bout you?  Morning person or night owl?

Megan Kelly


Lynn Cahoon said...

Morning - Although I was born at noon. Excuse me, my Libra is showing...

I can think of only three times I stayed up all night. One, I was finishing Gone with the Wind. One, I was out on a double date. And the third time was in Vegas, because you don't know what time it is...

Linda Henderson said...

I'm more of a night person. I am not a fan of early mornings. Even though I might be up early, it doesn't mean I want to see or talk to people before I have some coffee and get really woken up. The only reason why I'm up early this morning was I woke myself up coughing, otherwise I'd still be snoozing away.

Megan Kelly said...

Does it surprise anyone I didn't answer these ladies at 6:25 and 6:47 am? I didn't think so. Although there's hope for you, Linda, if you'd still be in bed. Sorry about the cough--allergies are going crazy around here, but there's a cold bug too. Drink fluids--and go back to bed. :)
I'm pretty sure Lynn got up for work, which is the only good reason other than kids I can think of.

Megan Kelly said...

Oops it sent before I finished. Didn't mean to sound snarky. The other good reason to be up is reading a book. I finished one last night and dove into another today. Which means I'm not writing, cleaning or cooking. See y'all later.

Amanda Renée said...

I'm with you. I write late at night. I can't function, let alone write in the morning. I've tried to go to bed early and rise at 4AM to write. It doesn't work for me...3 or 4AM is bedtime!