Friday, August 15, 2008

Olympic Nights

I’m bummed that I didn’t stay up last night to watch the all-around individual finals in women’s gymnastics—my favorite summer Olympics sport. I should be happy that I’ve gotten to watch much of the Olympics at all, since we don’t have cable or satellite TV at our house. (Doug and I decided when we first got married that we didn’t need TV. We watch the movies and shows we like on DVD and online.) However, Monday night we dug out the old “rabbit ears” and are able to get just enough reception for some fuzzy but tolerable coverage.

So, for the past few nights, Doug and I have stayed up watching the games. Problem is, neither of us can last much past 10:30 or 11pm. We laugh at ourselves remembering how we used to rarely go to bed before midnight or later, and in college our best work was done after 9. Not anymore! Having Jodi changed our sleep habits quite a bit. In her first couple colicky months we were lucky to get any rest at all. Now, she’s a great sleeper, but we learned to sleep when she sleeps, and our bodies are holding us to that!

Have you been able to stay up to watch the Olympics? I’m curious, too, when you do your best writing work. Are you a night owl or an early bird? I know I work with both types judging from time stamps on emails. Do you ever pull all-nighters to meet your deadlines? I’ll admit I had to pull a couple of those back when I was working full-time plus doing freelance copy editing projects for Barbour. Just for fun, leave a comment and tell us about your writing/sleeping habits. Oh, and don’t stay up too late watching the Olympics if you’re under deadline for me! :)

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)


Debby Mayne said...

I remember what it was like having babies and small children in the house. Those were definitely sleep-deprived years for my husband and me.

By nature, I'm an early morning person, but I can stay up late if I need to. For some reason, no matter what time I go to bed, I still pop up early the next morning.

The Write Life said...

I'm a late night person. With six kids, my best quiet time is after they all go to sleep. If I get up early, it's like they have little radars and they wake up, too.

Now we also have a two-month-old and a five-month-old in the house, and we'll soon -- hopefully! -- add an seven-month-old to the mix.

I just write when I can. After waking for the middle of the night feedings, I can't stay up as late as I used to. And this time around is harder than when I was younger.

Things are easier now than they were at the newborn stage, so I'm getting back on track. I've been able to write during morning naps and after they go to bed on a pretty regular schedule. I try to go to bed by midnight.

I enjoy every minute of the juggling. I did stay up for the women's all-around. Awesome.


Pam Meyers said...

I'm definitely a morning person and rarely last past 10:30. That means I've turned off the Olympics more than once when I couldn't keep my eyelids open any longer.

I've always done my best writing in the morning, but since being early-retired I find I am able to do just as well later in the day. Just don't count on me in the wee hours. By then I'm brain-dead.

Cecelia Dowdy said...

I do a bulk of my writing work in the early hours, around 5AM. I can usually get a couple hours in before my family awakens, and I ready my three-year-old for day care and me and my hubby get ourselves together to report to our full-time jobs.

Rhonda said...

Good question JoAnne. I'm enjoying all the responses. As for me, I write best in the evenings. I'm not much of a morning person, as far as sitting down and writing. I remember those sweet baby days too, enjoy them! They go all to fast.

Janet Spaeth said...

I'm a complete night owl. My brain sort of functions before 8 AM, but just sort of. This morning, for example, the alarm went off at 7, and I turned it off, thinking, Wow, I'm so glad it's Saturday! Ha. Guess who woke up at 8:15, totally late for work!

I have and always will stay up all night writing near a deadline. It's tradition! When I first started writing, which was back when I was very young (long long time ago), I could write--coherently--after being up for 24 hours and it was actually the best writing I did. Now I lose coherency around 3 AM. Some might argue earlier. Like mid-afternoon.

Of course all this is fed by the fact that "Murder, She Wrote" is on here from 10 PM to midnight. (Janet shrugs helplessly.)

But I do remember those sleep-deprived baby days, of pleading with whichever sleepless baby I had at the moment, "Look at Mommy's eyes. See how they close? And they stay shut?"

I think nightowls beget nightowlets....

Myra Johnson said...

We gave up trying to stay up to watch the Olympics. The most exciting stuff seems to happen waaaaaay past our bedtime. So we decided to start recording it and zapping through to the good stuff when we watch it the next day.

I guess you'd call me a "middle of the day" person. I'm a slow starter in the mornings and use that time for errands and busy work. After lunch I'm ready to really focus on writing and stick with it until dinnertime. Evenings I kick back with my hubby. We usually watch TV for a couple of hours, then read for another hour or so, and lights out by 10 or 10:30.

donnarobinson said...

I love to get up early, get a cup of coffee and read my Bible. Then I look at my email (I have three addresses), and every day I write a letter to my parents, who live in Cleveland, and my sister, who lives in Boston.

Then I get to writing--maybe. I have a lot of interruptions from my hubby and kids. But our two youngest sons will both be in college this fall, leaving us an empty nest. I hope it gives me more time to write, although our daughter has a little 3-month old son, and I've been babysitting a lot lately. Our oldest son has two girls, and I hardly ever see them! (Isn't that the way with sons and daughters?)

Anyway, I'm definitely a morning person. I can't keep my eyes open past 10 p.m.


Erica Vetsch said...

My best work-time is between 9am and noon. This is okay during the summer, but since this is also my son's best time to work, once we start the homeschool year, I have to put my writing aside until later in the day to concentrate on him. Our school schedule makes Saturday mornings my prime writing time in the winter.

I've stayed up late every night this week watching the Olympics. And it shows in my writing. I haven't put more than 2K words on the WIP since Monday. yikes.

Laura Weldon said...

My husband and I did stay up to watch the end of the women's all-around, and we were so glad we did! But we paid for it yesterday--we were so tired!

Out of necessity, I write during nap time. I am by nature a night owl, though, and I think if I wasn't busy with bath time, read-aloud time, and bed time in the evenings, that would be a more natural time for me to write. I'm not complaining though. I know there will be years ahead when my boys are too busy for mommy in the evenings.

Anonymous said...

I tried to stay up for the women's all around but woke up just in time to see the winner waving at the crowd. Second time this week I've done that--the first time, I woke up at 2am after the men's team event.

My writing habits have changed over the years. When I first started, late nights when everyone was in bed was my best time. Now, my writing brain works best in the morning.

Patty Hall

Ausjenny said...

being in Australia it ends around 1.30am but we have the issue of having to wait till the tv station gives us some events like gynmastics.
I didn't see alot of the alround final for some reason. thinkit was in the afternoon and i remember getting a fitting for my bridesmaids dress. I am watching the finals today.
so far the vault and 2 mens events but im like you 10.30 im so tired.
I like week one best with the gymnastics and swimming. but I do like some of the team sports like hockey thats later this week for the finals.

Vickie said...

I stayed up to watch the gymnastics. It was so much fun to watch the U.S. girls come from behind to take first and second.

I do my best writing between 11am and 3pm. I do things around the house first and check emails, then I settle in and write. I've never pulled an all-nighter to meet a deadline--not yet, anyway. I try to get my stories done a bit early so I can let them sit, then I go back and read them with fresh eyes. It helps me to catch things I skimmed over when reading it before.

Jennifer Johnson said...

Hi JoAnne and all,

I write best in the morning, but I edit best in the evening! Funny, huh! By the way, I LOVE the Olympics as well, but I often fall asleep during the events! :-D

Mary Connealy said...

I'm an insomniac so writing deep into the night has kept me sane all these years.

I can remember being a really little kid, like 6 or 7 years old and laying awake at night. It's just who I am. I've tried all the tricks and I have fair luck with some things, but even so I don't even attempt bed until midnight and 2 a.m. doesn't even worry me.

I've been okay with deadlines. But when I get a galley or the revision notes that sort of kicks into me into overdrive and I don't do anything else until I'm through with those.

I also take direct orders well. Especially if you use short sentences and one syllable words.

So just tell me what to do, JoAnne. :) I'll get right on it.

Darlene Franklin said...

Definitely mornings for me. At work almost everyone else works a 6-3 shift. I arrive at 12, so that I can devote my mornings to writing. I'm thankful they allow flexible scheduling!

Becky said...

Okay, I confess, I am not a morning person. If I have to read much before noon, I'll fall asleep over the book (or Sunday School booklet like yesterday). I need to have coffee and move between multiple tasks in the mornings to get me going. In the afternoon noon, I can concentrate on one project, write, or read with little trouble. Writing creatively usually comes after 4 pm, and I can be a night owl if I get inspired.