"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I've officially shifted

Today, amid the 100 degree heat, I met a friend (Mizfit for those of you interested) for coffee. Neither of us had coffee, but really that's beside the point. You know sometimes it's just nice to get out for adult conversation.

We met at noon. When she asked how my day was going, I piped up, "I've written 2000 words already today." Then I laughed and mentioned how that was the third day in a row.

"I've shifted," I said, and I realized it was true.

See the thing is, I just quit the day job back in April. Before that, I never wrote during the day. All writing took place from 9-11 pm, and on the rare opportunity I had a chance to write during the day, I never could/did. I was a nighttime writer, and that was that.

She, being Mizfit, mentioned many people comment on her blog about "the type" of person they are. Comments like "I just can't exercise in the morning," or "I'm not a night person."
Have they tried?
Have they tried for any length of time?
Do they really want to change?

So here's my thought. You can change. You can shift. At first, maybe it won't be easy. Words may not flow. You might plunk out 200 words and call it a day. But the next day push for 100 more and keep pushing. Shift your life around to how you want because you can.

So when do you write? Have you ever shifted? And how about exercise? I used to wake up at 5 am and hop on the elliptical. Looking back, I may have been crazy, but if I wanted to again, I could.

14 comments:

Christine M said...

I write during the day - when I can. Sometimes things just conspire against me. Today for example, I had some squares to sew into blankets - and need to bring them to the church office tomorrow. I have a library book due Saturday. Those deadlines beat the kind of fluid deadline of my WIP (unfortunately) - but I just haven't figured out how to use my hands for two different things at one time. - And I can't read and write two different stories at once (I'm just a failure as a multi-tasker).

But - the blankets are done (and I read some while sewing). So - tomorrow - more revising.

In the meantime - my son is still not asleep and it's 11pm - And why is my 8-year-old still up on a school night? Because he can't put down The Emerald Tablet - that's why! Congrats - you've written a book kids love. (at least my kid) :)

PJ Hoover said...

Yay, Chris. This makes me so happy!!! I really appreciate you saying so :)

OK, I have to ask. Reading while sewing? I'm trying to picture hand sewing and machine sewing, but either one combined with reading sounds like there'd be needles in my fingertips. And you say you can't multi-task?

beth said...

I'm a night person. But, like you, I've realized that if I want to do what I love doing--writing--then I've got to shift. In the past, before I had a job, I'd write well into the night, usually not starting until 10 or 11 and not stopping until 1 or 2 in the morning. I can't do that when I'm teaching--I have to wake up at 5:30AM. And after school, I'm exhausted. So I had to change my schedule: school, a quick TV break, dinner, write. This meant dishes wait until the weekend (I've not got a dishwasher), and that sometimes my husband of less than a year gets chicken nuggets or pizza, but this also meant I got at least some writing done.

Of course, now that summer break's hit, I can start doing that late writing again...although my husband doesn't like it that much.

PJ Hoover said...

LOL, Beth, is there something wrong with Chicken Nuggets and Pizza? Sure, they aren't the healthiest, but they do taste good. And for convenience, they get a 10.
Hope you have a great summer writing!

Christine M said...

Reading while sewing. I was hand-sewing together knit squares - so it wasn't fine needlework. And I probably would have accomplished more if I did just one or the other but... so be it.

Today, I've finished my errands - and it's on to revising.

PJ Hoover said...

Maybe you could do some carpentry while revising, Chris? Power saws. Drills. You know - just to shake it up a bit.

Lenore said...

I hate running. I hate getting up early. But I found a running partner and we've been running at 7 am in the mornings. Now that's a shift!

PJ Hoover said...

I'd call the great, Lenore! What a shift. It's always a nice surprise when we adjust!

Amy said...

Yay on shifting!

I used to write when the kids were at gymnastics, but that big block of time is gone. But no "right time" has really stepped in to take its place.

I could, if I really, really wanted to, get up early an get my pages in before everyone else's day starts. As tired as I am most nights, that may be the way I go this summer. It's a good habit, I think, to get into.

PJ Hoover said...

Hey Amy, a new time will appear. I've heard of people waking up super early to write. Not for me yet, though I could see it at some time in the future. I'd have to turn the internet off though.

Patty P said...

Shifting. I like that. I've shifted. It's a planned shift so I don't know if that counts. Summers off means more writing time.
Lately I decided not to quantify my work. I need to get the G/M/C straight in my head before I type another single word.
Although 6000k words sounds positively delightful. You rock!

PJ Hoover said...

Planned shifts are awesome, Patty! Because not only have you shifted, you've set a goal to shift and done it!

Alison said...

I think our biological clocks are mostly inborn. We can shift, but I think we can shift to some times more easily than others! If left to my own devices, I always revert to about a 10 am to 2 am waking schedule (or 11 to 3, which is what I did yesterday!). But while I used to do my best writing late at night, I have managed to shift it to afternoons recently. What I still can't manage is mornings!

Even when I worked a day job as a technical writer, I never got much done in the mornings. I'd concentrate on busywork, e-mail, etc., to get going in the mornings, then try to have an early lunch, around 11, and then work in earnest all afternoon to make up for what I didn't get done in the morning! My mom is a night owl like me, up until 2 or 3 most mornings, but my dad wakes up by 5 or 5:30 every day whether he wants to or not, and is ready for sleep by 9 pm. I think I could handle any shift for the short term if I had to get used to it, but long-term I hope I can set my own hours! I'm just lucky lately that I've been able to get in as much writing as I have. I can't wait until all my kids are in school--only another 4 years now, yikes!

PJ Hoover said...

Wow, Alison, 11-3. Don't the kids wake you up in the morning? Mine wake no later than 7 (on a late day).
I have two more years for both in school.