Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Must. Become. Nocturnal.

Nooo! Not a vampire! Not that kind of nocturnal. I must become a night-writer. Doesn't that sound funky and mysterious? NIGHT-WRITER. Writer of the Night. Ha ha ha. What am I babbling about? Oh, nothing. Just my early morning writing schedule is turning out to be a joke. Here was the plan: get up at 5, write until lunch while Jim takes care of Clementine, with a few breaks in there for nursing. Sounds fine, right? A person could get a lot of writing done! So what's the problem?

Waking up early is not the problem. It's easy. It's how I wrote Blackbringer, getting up in the dark and dragging myself downstairs to the kitchen (I did not yet have a writing room). In the winter when it was freezing I opened the oven to take the chill off the kitchen. I made coffee and wrote. I remember hearing author Donna Jo Napoli speak at SCBWI and she said she gets up at 4:30 to write before going to her full-time university job. It sounded painful to me, but you know, if you really want to write, you make the time. There was a morning last week when I meant to get up at 5 and didn't, and I was kicking myself all day, because, and here's the thing . . .

Clementine isn't sleeping so much during the day anymore.

She's getting to be a real little person. See:
(Ohmygod, so cute!!!)

Anyway, she no longer sleeps 16 hours a day. She still sleeps really well at night, praise be, but during the day, she requires, you know, constant entertainment. Which is awesome! She's so much fun. But I have a book to write, and writing it in the morning is not panning out so well. If I get up at 5, see, Clementine wakes up at 5:30, wanting what babies want. If I sleep in, of course, so does she. She knows. So basically I'm not getting those empty dark dawn hours like I hoped. They're all chopped up with feedings and such. The late night hours, however, are there, mocking me in my fatigue, saying, "Work NOW. It's so quiet. Clementine is so asleep. NOW is your time!"

But at night I just want to read and loll! I can have the best of intentions all day, but when nighttime comes ... so does laziness.

Must. Conquer. Laziness. Big pot of coffee at 10 pm, maybe? I think I'll be giving it a try tonight. Wish me luck!

Update: So, I was up last night -- decided to forego the coffee, since I was pretty awake, but was considering tea when . . . at around midnight, who should wake up? What? Usually, once she's in her bassinet she doesn't wake up until the wee hours, like, once to nurse. She must have heard about my new *schedule* and been having herself a laugh. So, I got in bed to nurse her and of course that was it for me for the night. Oh well!

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Little Pie is the cutest baby ever. That is an awesome photo Fatty! Maybe we should get you some extra deluxe delicious coffee? I saw that the starbucks peppermint mocha has more calories than a regular meal. ):
have you tasted the new corndog flavored coffee creme yet? All the ya writers are swearing by it.

Megsie said...

Clementine is so darn cute. Who could resist, really. When I was working on my master's thesis, I worked after bedtime. Sometimes all night long. It is the best, most quiet, alone time there is. I still stay up way too late just letting the quiet rush over me, and my kids are 8 and 6!

Lisa Nowak said...

If that baby was any cuter the world would implode.

aranel13 said...

I feel your pain. I thought I would get great things done, since my 10 month old sleeps all night long, from 10pm on, and I'm a night person.

HA! I don't care how late I sleep in. I'm still zombified by 11pm. My internal clock, it mocks me.

Natalie Whipple said...

My productivity suffers at night as well! It takes a heckuva lot of caffeine to get any words out of me past 9pm.

tone almhjell said...

Oh dear, so incredibly cute! I know what you mean about the entertainment. Somtimes I feel like a very boring, very stale one woman show. Here's the fox! Now you see his face! Now you don't! Now you see it! And so on.. She did 16 hours before? Magnus refuses to sleep more than nine and has since he arrived. Up every three hours at night, daytime nap only when we're out walking. Plus the fifteen minutes around eleven o'clock, when I snatch a cup of tea and read the paper/check my mail/wrap Christmas presents/blog/go to the bathroom. Oops, they're up.

Jackee said...

Good luck. I feel your pain, since mine (the same age within a day) is doing the same thing.

As a side note, she's sitting on my lap right now and saw the picture of Clementine and smiled and cooed at her. What is it about babies liking to see each other? :0)

Again, good luck!

Katie said...

Oh Laini, just remember that this "baby phase" will pass and you will have your time once again.

I feel for you. Babies are hard.

But precious :-)

Mel said...

If there's one thing I've learned in this anguish-ridden battle of Motherhood vs. Writerhood, is that you can't think of it as a "vs.", y'know?

I've been doing the mama thing for almost 7 years now and I still haven't figured it out...:)It's all about the day-to-day and not being hard on yourself on the days when the keyboard gathers dust....

Breathe. And remember, your babe is just a babe for a short while...the book will be there in the moments when you're pulled elsewhere.

I can't count how many author notes I've read in the last while that don't spend some time thanking their children for weathering their neglect while they finished aforementioned book -- and while I'm sure it's fun and amusing after the fact, I imagine while they were in the middle of it, it was all guilt and anguish. Such is the double-edged gift of motherhood...;)

Mimi said...

Thank you for this conversation. I have four children that have taken so much precedence in my life, for 10 years I didn't write. I'm now trying to piece back together my writer self. You have a head start because you haven't lost yours. I'm sure you will manage wonderfully.

Side note: I finally got a hold of Blackbringer for my son. LOVE IT!

JenniferWalkup said...

Your daughter is adorable! Good luck getting a schedule that works for you all. I have two boys (14 months and 3.5) and it's tough. I have to wait until they go to bed to write (7 o'clock, so not horrible, but still, they wear my out by that time). I usually write for a few hours before crawling into bed. It's tough, no doubt, but it rejuventates you at the end of the day, too!

Dawn Hullender said...

Ohmygosh you have a real, live honest-to-goodness Fairy baby! She is uber adorable. I haven't been able to write successfully in over six months, so whatever secret you uncover, please share?

Heather said...

Clementine has got to be about the cutest baby girl I have ever seen in my life! The pictures you post of her make me smile no matter what kind of day I'm having!

Susan said...

Writer-moms have been dealing with this for centuries. And just when you think you've figured out a fabulous schedule, your baby's schedule changes. BUT... it's worth every moment, as you already know. Hang in there, and be kind to yourself.

brittany said...

that little devil. (Ha! she could never pass for one of those.) Here's the good news: things change with babies. It's a constant thing. hang in there. You'll find time. Maybe next year? :)

Heather said...

What a little Sweetie! Who could resist that face?

And kids will foil you every opportunity they get. It's their MO to make sure they get ALL of your undivided attention!

Just last night I warned my husband not to say too much about the youngest finally sleeping all the way through the night. And then...he woke me up four times in 45 minutes. Poor fella was having bad dreams, so I couldn't get too upset about it. But now we're back to square one again! Le sigh.

Vijaya said...

Yup, my kiddos also *knew* when I was up and within half an hour, were ready to play. I turned into a nightowl eventually. And continue to be one even now, because it best suits the needs of my family.

I'm happy you're enjoying every moment with your Cutie Pie.

Amber Lough said...

I know where you're coming from, Laini. Boy. I *just* got out of that phase---I hope hope hope. Every time I settle into a writing schedule, he changes, too. And I'm home alone with him, so no daddy to pass him off to. Thankfully, Elizabeth is at preschool nowadays and Henry takes 2-3 hours naps. Those are the only 2-3 hours a day I get, so I try to make the most of it.
Remember when I tried getting up early to write last spring? Henry did the same thing Clementine is doing---he woke up then, too.
When she's older, her sleep routine will settle and you'll find the time you need. You're way ahead of most writing moms, so at least you've got that!
BTW, she is SO DARNED CUTE!

Carrie Harris said...

Clementine is such a cute little elf. Really, just too adorable!

I'd rather be a night-writer, but my only time is early afternoon. Maybe we could trade. ;)

Amber said...

Well, there is always preschool, in a couple years. LOL! Enjoy this while you can. Maybe you will have to take it day by day, for now.

:)

Myrna Foster said...

Night Writer is the name of my blog. Yes, I have children ;)

lkmadigan said...

There has never been a more adorably elfin baby.

*smooches and raspberries*

It's a delicate balance, for sure ... and it is constantly shifting. So don't be too strict with yourself right now. When she's older, it will be easier to have a schedule. But these first couple of years are all about flexibility.

xo

Lisa

Commander Kip said...

Cutest baby picture in the history of the WORLD! I love the Christmas lights in the background (I'm assuming that's what they are.) Good luck with the new writing schedule!

megg said...

Very cute!!

I have no advice so all I can do is send you all love and whisper sleepy words through the computer to your wee elf -

"let mommy write! Sleep in until 9!"

xo

Josephine Tale Peddler said...

My heavens what a wicked adorable baby. My four year old daughter, Daisy keeps saying, 'show me the photo of the cheeky funny baby.' I love the name Clementine. It was also on my list. I found your Blog through Gondal Girl. Pleased to have met you. Love your fab red writing room. Have you seen the UK writer Kate Mosse's writing room? It's also red. I'm afraid I have bad news for you when it comes to writing and cheeky cute baby girls. It gets WORSE. I used to love my early morning writing shifts but my daughter keeps night hours and at four is now having growing pains. I'm as sleep deprived as I was when she first came home as newborn. I't a hard juggling act. If you find the secret, let me know. Oops, hear the sound of stickytape and presents being pulled open. Must dash. xx