How to develop a writing schedule without sacrificing something important to me
September 1, 2011 5:23 PM Subscribe
How do I successfully develop a morning writing routine without giving up my night owl lifestyle? Is this even feasible?
I write best first thing in the morning, but I am a diehard night owl and I don't see myself changing that easily. I can edit and tinker at night sometimes, but there tends to be less raw creative energy available to me then. Over the years, with job and child-rearing requirements, I gradually wrote less and less, and became used to a minimal amount of sleep with occasional catch-up so as to keep up with my daytime duties and responsibilities.
Now I am approaching middle age and I regret not writing more than I have. My kid is a teenager now and my day job situation is less demanding. In recent times while I was still single and I started thinking about writing regularly again, it was much easier to envision gradually converting myself into a full-time morning person in order to support a full-time writing schedule.
But now I suddenly find myself hopelessly in love with a musician, and we are getting married soon. She is a very busy girl and her nights, when not spent with her own two teenagers and with me and mine, are peppered with gigs and music related events that nearly always take place at night. I often attend these in a tag along capacity, but now I find that I'm starting to seriously warm up to her lifestyle and to her friends, and I truly value this time spent with her and our circles.
I would still like to begin writing regularly, but I feel conflicted because the idea of passing on a large percentage of my fiance's events, parties and gigs makes me feel sad and distant from her and our circles. In addition, I have what appear to be a collection of executive functioning and ADHD-like challenges that I haven't yet gotten to the bottom of and mastered, and so I still have a lot of trouble defining and then sticking to schedules, habits and routines on my own without someone else dictating (which in turn I tend to resent and rebel against).
How do other writers in this kind of situation cope? Assuming I can actually manage to come up with and stick to a schedule/routine of some kind (no small feat!) do I support this by training myself to get up at a certain time regardless of how late I was up the night before, and just let a schedule build itself up naturally? Or do I need to make a hard decision and give up something that I cherish? Are there specific, proven strategies that don't involve major compromise that I should study and try to emulate? Alternatively, should I try to develop my nighttime creative powers and build a nighttime writing schedule? How should I tackle this situation? I'm ready to start taking steps, but want to proceed carefully and effectively and with confidence.
I'm sure there are additional questions I've forgotten or haven't yet thought of, and I've probably left something important out, but I'll leave it here for now. Thanks, AskMeFites!