Early Owl Night Bird

Early Bird_Night owl

This week’s topic is one that I suggested: “Are you a morning person, or are you a night owl?”

I asked this because many of my author friends have other lives – they’re moms, spouses, and members of the workforce – so they don’t spend the majority of their days writing. Some write after the kids are in bed and the chores are done. Others get up early to get their words in before the rest of the household arises. So I wanted to know how others cope with the endless obligations we face as authors who must write, promote, and keep up with the other details of our lives.

I admit to burning the candle at both ends. When I have something that needs to be finished the next day, I tend to stay awake until it’s done. And if I have to be somewhere in the morning, I wake up long before the alarm goes off. Most of the time, I get less sleep than the experts say I should. I do tend to make up for it on “free days” when I sleep in a bit longer or take a nap. But that happens once every other week or so.

Part of my problem is that I’m very easily distracted and end up wasting a lot of time. When I wake up early, I like to check emails, and if the weather is good, I’ll put on my shoes and walk for half an hour. Then I’ll start my work for the day. Lately I’ve had morning appointments and I have to be somewhere by 9, which means that writing and  household chores get put off until afternoon or evening. Those are the days that very little gets done at home.

Those who know me well have seen my tendency to procrastinate when it comes to things I SHOULD do – housework, grading papers, editing, practicing my music, etc. I would much rather do other things, like scrapbooking, sewing, reading, and writing. In order to get things done, I’ve learned to attack the stuff I need to do and reward myself with the pleasurable stuff. For example, I’ll tell myself I need to grade 20 essays, so I’ll allow myself to sew for half an hour for every five essays I’ve read and graded. Unfortunately, I’ll also put off returning to that task by snacking, checking emails, running errands, and even (horrors!) cleaning out a drawer! So those 20 essays might take me a total of two hours to read, but with all the other stuff thrown in, I’ve invested about five or six hours. And since my list of SHOULD DO tasks is quite long, this process means that I’m spending all day trying to accomplish what others can do in less than half the time.

I’ve mentioned before my penchant for making To Do lists. I usually try to create those either before I go to bed, or just after I get up. These are the things that MUST be finished that day – or at least in the coming week. When I forget to make a list, I tend to waste a lot more time. Maybe someday I’ll figure out a better way. Or maybe I’ll slow down a bit. The university is going to discontinue offering the class I teach after next year, so I may have a little extra time. Hopefully, I won’t fill it with a new hobby.


About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Kiyono/e/B0067PSM5C/
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13 Responses to Early Owl Night Bird

  1. It’s so easy to put off until later what should have been done yesterday, and I am the great procrastinator. I try to put writing first, but there is often so many things needing attention, it often takes last place. Glad to know I’m not alone!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A morning person is what I used to be, and I still am when I have something that must be done early, errands, sending something to someone in an email, etc. But since I’m retired, I have the luxury of being a late-night writer now. That doesn’t mean I stay up all hours of the night writing. My limit is midnight. By then, I’m feeling fatigue set in. It also doesn’t mean I sleep until late in the morning. Most often, I get up between 6:30 and 7:30. To me, that’s still being somewhat of a morning person, because when I’m up…I’m up and raring to go.

    My writing is treated as a full-time job with odd hours. That means, after my hubby and I sit on the enclosed patio with our first cup of hot coffee, I get my morning tasks out of the way. Then, I grab a fresh cup of coffee and it’s off to work (for real LOL…down the hall to my office). I park my derriere in the chair and work until my first coffee break. Just like in the 9 to 5 work I retired from. Only after my break, I do another chore before returning to my desk chair. Lunch and afternoon break are treated the same way.

    When it comes to dinner-time, I close down my work and cyber-world, prepare the dinner, eat, and afterward, Arnie and I spend the evening watching something on TV (rarely the programs, mostly DVDs) or play a game. That’s if we don’t have a writers meeting to go to. But the important part is spending time together doing something.

    But this is me. It works for me. It may not work for everyone. I’m an organized writer even if I am a pantser. LOL

    Liked by 2 people

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      You certainly are organized – and disciplined! I can organize my day, but don’t always follow through. Retirement is a blessing, but for me, sometimes it tends to lead to more procrastination.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Like thezekechronicles indicated, some people will be glad to know they have company in this, and I’m sure there are millions out there who also have a problem with procrastination.

        Maybe it’s because I’m older now that I don’t, when it comes to writing, maybe it’s because I love it so much, maybe it’s because God sits my tush down in the chair and says, “Now sit there.” (And this child is not going to argue with the Father) I don’t know. LOL I used to be a terrible procrastinator in my younger days. As long as it gets done in your own time, that’s what’s important.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Jeff Salter says:

    Patricia, as I’ve often said — quite sincerely — I greatly admire your ability to juggle your energy and talent into so many diverse directions… and somehow (seemingly) get it all done.
    You must be a dynamo.
    Frankly, though you claim you procrastinate, I can’t picture it. You do so much in so many unrelated areas — at least unrelated in a strict sense, though most of them involve creativity of one type or another — that I can’t imagine you “piddle” more than perhaps an hour a day.
    Whereas, me…
    Well, perhaps I’ll save that for another topic, another time.
    You know, put it off.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. But, but YOU GET SO MUCH DONE! I have said several times that you do more than most two or three people that I know!
    Whatever you are doing, it’s working!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Thanks, Tonette! I just wish I could get things done more efficiently so that I could either enjoy my leisure time or go to bed earlier!


  5. I get tired just hearing about all the things that you do. Mornings can be peaceful before anyone else is awake.


    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      I suppose they’re peaceful in other homes, but since my hubby wakes up around 3 or 4 am, he’s always up and watching TV by the time I get up.


  6. Elaine Cantrell says:

    I believe you when you say you burn the candle at both ends. You are one of the busiest people I know.


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