Stephanie Perkins Blog About Stephanie Books On Writing News Extras



5.15.2009

I Could Only Hold Out For So Long



I wanted to be a daytime writer. Honestly, I did.

When I quit my job at the library, I had the best intentions to join the rest of the world. The night-sleepers. The plan was to write during my old library-work hours, so I'd have the nights free to be with my husband again.

We’re talking about eight hours! Eight hours of writing EVERY DAY! Imagine the progress that would be made!

I knew it wouldn’t be easy, not by a long shot. I’ve always been a night owl. My brain reaches peak creativity between 11 pm and 4 am. I wrote 95% of Anna and the EFABM during these hours, and 100% of everything in college. But I also know it’s possible to retrain your body. With practice, discipline, and patience, almost anything can be achieved. (And I don’t mean that in a cheesy you-can-do-it! way, I’m serious. Science has my back on that one.)

Unfortunately, I appear to lack all three of these qualities.

THIS IS NOT WORKING FOR ME.

I’ve hinted/moaned about it here and on Twitter, but the facts are these:


(A) Progress is slow – painfully slow – on Second Novel.

(B) I’m too easily distracted during the day. (I blame you, Internet.)

(C) I am frustrated. And feeling guilty. And doing a lot of self-loathing.


I’m tired of sending out desperate emails to friends. When you have to examine your contacts list carefully to see whom you HAVEN’T complained to lately, it’s time to change. So after a long discussion with Jarrod last night, we decided to readjust my schedule. To do what my body wants to do anyway:

Sleep in. Fart around until dinner. Work. Go to bed just before sunrise.

I’m nervous and a little sad, but it’s the right decision. At least for now. And I love writing at night, I MISS writing at night! When the neighborhood is quiet and dark, and the only thing knocking about is my imagination.

I wish I were the type of person who could set an alarm and write in the early quiet hours of the day, but I’m not. I never have been. Alarm clocks and I have a very long, very ugly history. And there’s still a chance that once Second Novel is rolling again – when it finally has its own momentum – I can try the daytime thing again. But for now?

Once again, I belong to the night.




In unrelated news, My Celebrity Boyfriend Chris Martin's band is offering a free download of their fantastic new live album, LeftRightLeftRightLeft. I've heard a rumor it's only available today, but I don't think that's true. (Chris is napping, otherwise I'd ask.) Still. If you're interested, download it now, just in case! Or wait until their summer tour, because Coldplay is also giving away hardcopies to everyone who attends their shows.

'Cause they're nice like that. I like nice boys.




Speaking of, I just found out Ben Lee has a new album. YAY! My husband surprised me by bringing home The Rebirth of Venus on his lunch hour. (See how wonderful he is? Not only did Jarrod fully support the night-writing thing, but then he SURPRISED ME WITH MUSIC.) Ben's last few albums have given me mixed feelings, but he'll always have a special nook in my heart. If it weren't for him, Jarrod and I would have never met!

It all started with this song:





But the rest of that story is for another day.

In my last piece of music news, The Punktuations! -- my imaginary band with Her Royal Awesomeness Kiersten White -- is totally kicking the butt of our rival imaginary band, Carrie Harris and Natalie Whipple's Preliminary Merpire (Merpire = Mermaid + Vampire).

Because check it out: Kiersten SANG.

Take that Merpires!

Of course, my contributions to the rivalry have strictly been of the cheerleader variety (Rah rah rah Punktuations! Boooooo Merpires!), but I fully intend to join the fun someday soon. Soonish.

Once, you know, this whole noveling thing works out again.

12 comments:

  1. Thanks for the Coldplay advice. I'm currently trying to win tickets to see them in Belgium this summer.

    Good luck with your night writing!

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  2. Coldplay in BELGIUM? Could I die??? (I'm seeing them in Charlotte.) Good luck to you too!

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  3. Every time I find something that works....it only works for a while, then I have to change things up. Thank god for blogs like yours where I can go and read that other writers are having similar struggles. Writing is sometimes (often) very lonely....but that's one of its draws as well.

    Good luck, night owl! Being one of those early riser writer types, I can only imagine what it is like to be awake at 2:00 am........(insert creepy music here).

    Shelley

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  4. I am unemployed right now (sadly not by choice) and am going through the same struggle as you. It finally hit me that I truly do work best in late afternoon hours, and then evening/nighttime if I'm on a roll, and that's just that. If I get up any earlier I'll just use that time for errands or procrastination via the internet or reading. I am not a morning person, I never will be, and that's OK.

    (BTW, despite my progress, Second Novel is still frustrating the heck out of me. I FEEL YOUR PAIN.)

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  5. I'm not sure how long I can take the competition between us. I'm just not the competitive type person, and Kierst is hardcore. And, well, awesome. Sigh.

    Write when you write:) Night people are cool. Nothing wrong with that.

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  6. Wriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiite!

    I don't care when you write, just write!!!

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  7. You've just made me fall in love with Ben Lee. Good work. You're contaminating my mind with cliche teenage habits!

    S'okay, I forgive you. :)
    And I can't wait to read your novel!

    I'm total night owl too, HOMIE! It's stranger, however my mind suddenly and magically becomes so precise, creative, inventive, and produces such masterpieces at night!

    Frankly, that works for me just fine as I can enjoy the day than write until I possibly fall asleep on the computer. Wouldn't it be insanely wicked amazing if a desk was invented in which you could just flip it upside down and there was a bed on the other side?

    HEAVEN, I say.

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  8. I wish I could write from 11-4 am. That's when I wrote most stuff in college too and seriously my brain clears then and works better. It's not happening with kids though. I have to make do with days. and some nights when I can't stop.

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  9. I write better at night too (well, except for poetry. For some reason, that's a daytime thing). I can't handle getting jerked out of my story every other minute by small children, so I write when they are all asleep. I liked writing at night when I was a teenager too though.

    Good luck with your project, whenever you write it.

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  10. Finding a routine that works is SO HARD. I hope this new one works out for you!

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  11. I hope the night-writing is going smashingly! Having -- ahem -- had a small taste of Novel #2, I am most anxious that you keep moving forward with it, for purely selfish reasons! I must know what happens next!!!

    You've got to work with your brain, not try to force it to be a different brain. If I tried to work your optimal hours, for example, I would never write a thing. Do what works. Just: write the book!!!!!

    :-)

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  12. *considers adding merpire to novel*

    Lisa

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