One of the most important part of juggling freelancing and a full time job plus, you know, life, is scheduling. Which is pretty elementary. Anything you read will probably say that that. I’m not a time management guru, I take three hour long naps after work and wake up 15 minutes before I’m supposed to be at my day job.
Which is pretty contrary to what most writing advice usually supports. A lot of what is out there is always suggesting that writers set aside time to work in the wee hours of morning before children and spouses wake. Before cows need milking and eggs need plucked from chicken nests. Or I assume that’s what happens that early. I don’t know. I live in the city. The idea is to make that time, those early morning predawn hours, your time. Own it. Fill it with the work.
Which is all fine and good but I’m not a morning person. Mid-morning, maybe sometimes, but early morning, that’s a big never.
Also I’m not, generally speaking, very creative or productive just after waking up. I’m just a night owl.
So rather than restructure my entire biorhythm, I just structure my life around the fact that my brain functions best between 8PM and 3AM.
I come home, I nap for a few hours and then I talk to my children about their day, settle in at my computer and get to work until I pass feel sleepy again and go back to bed.
And that’s ok.
Mornings are not everyone’s best time. It’s not my time. I fill my nights with the work. There are hours long stretches of uninterrupted time there where I can fall into things, take breaks, do edits and rewrites. I can lose myself to the work.
Mornings, that’s just me trying to squeeze in time before I have to drop everything and handle the business of life. Night time is for creation. There is no other business. There is nothing else coming that will take precedence over the work.
There is only the work and I.
Mornings are for hobbies and for things you can drop. Nighttime is for things that matter. Things that keep you up. Not things you wake up for.
It’s semantics. Everyone is different. Some people are morning birds and do well in those wee hours, snatching time from other obligations. I prefer to set out a time when there are no other obligations and in a 9-5 world, that time is nighttime.
From twilight to twilight, the world is mine. When others are rising to begin, I’m shutting down, a night well spent. Too few hours of rest, tasks that don’t matter, and we start the process over again.