Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Sunday 25 March 2012

Early Bird or Night Owl

I always thought I was a night owl, but it turns out that I’m just not much of a sleeper.

The husband worked long hours, many of them into the night, until he was stricken down with seizures, more than two years ago, and after cleaning up his lifestyle, suddenly found that he was rising with the dawn and working two or three hours before the rest of us were up for breakfast.
Now, we have oddly crossed over schedules that mean we both get time alone every day, which suits us rather well.
The husband brings me a cup of Earl Grey in bed, every morning, and I actually begin my workday right there and right then. Checking e-mails, writing this blog, and checking the Twitter feed aren’t what I call work, it’s just what I do; it’s like reading the papers. I spend the mornings editing, reading and researching, and often don’t begin to write until the afternoon. I generally write best between lunchtime and suppertime. I can and do and will, no doubt again, write all day, if I’m working to deadlines, and, if it’s a bit of flash fiction for the website, I might write one of those in the morning. Generally, though I like to write in the afternoons when my mind is at its most awake, but also when my discipline is at its best, when I can sit down for hours at a time rather than flitting about. (A lovely French friend of mine refers to me as ‘Shiny’.)
The husband and I, like most married couples, I suspect, take the majority of our time together between supper and bed. We also take at least one long lunch together during the week, since I generally don’t each lunch, and he takes his at his desk, and we always eat breakfast together on Saturday and Sunday mornings. However, our real time together is between supper and bed. 
Here’s the thing, though: The husband is up at five in the morning, so I’m about three hours behind him all day long. This means that when he’s ready for bed at ten or ten-thirty, I’ve still got two or three good hours left in me.
I call it splitting shifts, but what it amounts to is that the quietest, and sometimes most productive part of my day takes place between ten at night and two in the morning. It might sound insane to you, but I just see it as one of the many benefits of working for myself.

1 comment:

  1. I used to be a night owl but now I work well at both ends of the day. I seem to fade in the afternoons, though! I can stay up until 3am if the work demands it, but I find it hard to get up, say, at 5am to get a really early start. I find there are cycles, and the seasons impose different patterns too. Like you, I find the late hours very productive, perhaps because I've been thinking all day. Having six kids tends to distract me by day (when they are all at home), so my writing time is divided into little chunks, but once they all go to bed, it's a relief to write down all the ideas I've had all day. Of course, now some of them are away a lot, it's getting easier.