Writing with the family around
I don’t know why, but I have a difficult time writing even a blog post when my family is around. Maybe it’s because when they come home from school and work, I may as well hang up my keyboard and give up until they go to sleep. If it’s not breaking up a dispute about a ball that magically flew threw the air and knocked something over in a house where balls are not allowed to be thrown, then it’s to stop and feed someone because they are “staaaaaaaarrrrrrrving!” even if they had a snack and it’s almost time for dinner (that I have to stop and make).
That is why I look forward to bedtime. It is when I creep back to my computer, which I left on, and create with abandon. I find I am more productive at night for some reason. Mornings rarely only happen for me because my kids need to get to school. It seems to be a law in this country. Before I had them, I woke up at 9 and began writing at 9:30 with my jammies on and a strong cup of coffee in my hand. At that point, I skimmed and answered simple emails, deleted files and was not required to speak to anyone about anything unless I wanted to. It was not until early afternoon when my writing would come alive and I would write with abandon. Some of my best work was written during this time. In fact, this is when my first novel was produced and found a publisher.
Many of this blog’s readers rely on evening time for creativity (definitely works for Kristine) but by the end of the day, others among us feel less like Edith Wharton and more like dog meat. Of course, our schedules and rhythms adapt with the ever-changing needs of our children as the grow — and start sleeping, or stop sleeping.
In my own experience, I’ve found that my little ones are now reliably asleep by 8:30 every night — but my older ones are often just waking up at that time, in terms of being interested in interaction. On Saturday night, I stayed up until 4:00 a.m. talking with my oldest son, who will be leaving for college in a matter of weeks. I hadn’t intended to stay up that late, of course, but the conversation — important conversation — just happened. Some things can’t be rescheduled. Did I note the irony that I finally had the baby tucked up in his crib, weaned and sleeping through the night — but the firstborn had me up all until all hours? I sure did, but still managed to feel like a kid in a candy store. Now, if only I could steal some of those wee hours for my writing….