January 28, 2013

Misty Mornings or Nebulous Nights?

"Day vs. Night" by TangYauHoong via foter.com
I want to be a Morning Lark. I read this beautiful post on writing in the morning and it inspired me to try (again) to set my alarm for crazy o'clock and try this morning writing thing. 

It sounds so artsy, so sophisticated. I love this idea of writing in the morning when everyone is still caught up in their pre-dawn dreams and the world holds its breath waiting for the sun to rise. I love the idea of writing in this dim, gray stillness and quiet. 

So I set the alarm every night for weeks, sure of my intention to get up and work before BoyChild wakes. I anticipate the relief and gratification of spending my days knowing I'd already written my words.

But every morning, before my brain knew what it was doing, my body flung my arm across my pillows and slammed that alarm into silence, and I'd wake hours later not remembering having turned the damn thing off. I would stare at the bumps and cracks in the ceiling, already disappointed that the morning was gone and I'd written nothing. Already disappointed in myself. Defeated. 

I'd haul my sand-sack heavy body out of bed, blinking that annoying fuzzy spot from eye to eye until finally, after that second cup of coffee, it disappeared and I could see clearly.

I could see that I would never be a Morning Lark.

"Day vs. Night" by TangYauHoong via foter.com

So I looked for commiseration. Other writerly folk that don't write in the morning. And I found this lovely quote by H.P. Lovecraft:

"At night, when the objective world has slunk back into its cavern and left dreamers to their own, there come the inspirations and capabilities impossible at any less magical and quiet hour. No one knows whether or not he is a writer unless he has tried writing at night."

I also stumbled onto a blog called extraordinarymommy hosted by Danielle Smith who wrote this fantastic post about writing at night as a parent. 

I wasn't alone. So, with a feeling of joining a different sort of writerly crowd, I embraced my Night Owlishness.

I thought through the day of what I'd write that night. I taught myself to eat more regularly and with more attention to health, to keep up my energy so when BoyChild went to bed, I wasn't exhausted. 

I sat at my desk and opened up my word processor. Something in my chest fluttered and I smiled. I was safe in the dark. The night wrapped itself around me like a womb, and sheltered me from all the worries of the day. Dreams floated in the air like sparkling ribbons over the rooftops and under the stars, and all I had to do was close my eyes and my blood started to buzz with this subconscious and active mental/spiritual/psychic energy. Fuel. And I wrote...

Some lessons must be learned and re-learned. 

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
- Shakespeare (Polonius, Hamlet)

I am a Night Owl. 

What about you, are you an Owl or a Lark? Have you had any success at changing from an Owl to a Lark or vice versa? Have you always been happy to be whichever bird you are? 


  1. I love that you embraced your true self! It's so hard to do. I've tried writing in the morning too, but mornings are more of a mediation time for me. That's when I get all my ideas and if I force myself to sit down and write what I should be writing then all my new ideas float away and I end up wasting time on facebook (gasp!). So, I quickly jot down my ideas, maybe run with one, do some house work, and then I'm in my groove. So, I guess I'm a mid-dayer. ;)

    1. Lol. Ya, daytime is a bust for me, my left brain takes over while my right brain taps her foot impatiently. This is when I write tweets, facebook updates, grocery lists, and blog posts. But I can't *write*. Not creatively. Till nightfall, then my left brain goes to sleep and my right brain rules the roost...

      Thanks for stopping in and commenting Ajfae, I really appreciate it!

  2. I think I am a night owl, the morning is too distracting, I want to go out and enjoy the day, night is when your body is weary and your mind is ready to wander and then you go to bed thinking of that scene you just worked on...

    1. Totally...and that last scene can keep me up for hours too. I have a pen-light just so that when I need to write something down in the middle of the night, I don't blind myself turning on the lamp! Thanks for reading and commenting!


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