Paula explains her writing 'habit'.
I’ve always been a night owl, never a morning person. When I
was a child, I used to read under the covers with a flashlight long after my
parents thought I must be asleep. Maybe not until midnight but certainly much
later than my supposed ‘bed-time’.
As a teenager, I’d turn off my light, wait until my parents
went to bed (probably about 10.30 or 11pm) then switch on my light again and
either read or continue writing the next chapter of my current story, for my
friends to read avidly the next day. Okay, those early romances of mine were
very corny but my friends enjoyed them!
For a lot of my adult life, I had to cease burning the
midnight oil. Baby era - 10pm feed, get some sleep before she wakes again. 25
year teaching era – gotta get up at 7am, need to get to bed early
Not always, though. Once the first baby started sleeping
through the night, I was writing again in the evenings. My first novel was
written (and typed out laboriously on an old upright typewriter) when my elder
daughter was about one – fortunately the sound of those clattering keys didn’t
Once both daughters grew into school kids and I returned to
teaching, I’d enjoy some ’me’ when they were both in bed, and when I’d marked books
or planned next day’s lessons. Maybe not into the early hours, but certainly
until late at night.
Eventually came retirement – i.e. taking early retirement in
my mid-fifties. Wow, freedom! To do what I want, when I want! And that included
staying up as late as I wanted, because I didn’t have to get up at (to me) some
silly o’clock time in the morning. I might get up about 8am these days but most
of my friends know not to call me until after 10am if they want any coherency
Old habits seem t die hard. I still do my best writing at night. I may have a whole day
free (sometimes!) but day-time writing doesn’t work for me. My mind works so
much better from about 9pm onwards. My
muse is obviously a night-owl too.
I’m full of admiration (and envy) for people who can get up
at 6am and start writing. But me? Yes, I’m a midnight writer.