Friday, June 11, 2021

Waking Early and Writing More?

 I am normally not a fan of summer mornings. They come too soon and they are too bright. For years, I have been closing the blinds and the curtains and trying to sleep in. But this year, I have been sleeping in a bedroom that receives early morning light because that is the larger of the two bedrooms in my house and that was where I set up his portable enclosure with his bed inside when my new puppy, then not yet three months old, arrived from Maryland. He is now seven months old and a good sleeper. But he likes to know where I am before he goes to bed. So does Penelope, the cat from "down South," who joined us a couple of months ago.

Penelope now strolls in and claims the foot of my bed as soon as she sees where Fergus and I are headed. 

Fergus is an early riser. He wakes up at around 6:30 am most mornings. This means I wake up, too. Having a puppy has forced me to change my sleep patterns. I believe I am still a "night owl" but now I am up and outside when the air is still so fresh that Fergus sits there sniffing. We hear the doves cooing. And despite myself I have found myself enjoying being awake -- even feeling smug and virtuous because I have started the day when some people are hitting their snooze button. Last night, I even anticipated being up early by heading to bed at a little after eleven. 

Being up early has also changed my writing habits. Instead of staggering to my desk to write, I am sitting down wide-awake after rising early and taking Fergus to doggie daycare. Since I need to pick him up by 6 pm, I am much more focused. I know that I need to get as much done as possible because when he gets home, he may still be full of energy and zooming through the house. I am falling into the habit of taking him for a walk after daycare. This makes for a calmer evening.  

Having no children, I am experiencing that discipline that writers with children talk about needing if they are to get anything done. This is a new experience for me because I have always been haphazard. I don't set word quotas. I have never written every day. I have thought through my plots and set down to write in long chunks of time. With Harry, my lovely Maine Coon, no animal-related adjustments were necessary. Harry was my night-owl pal, who enjoyed sleeping in as much as I did. 

But dear Harry is gone, and I am now in another animal universe. Not to say that I don't love Fergus and Penelope, but I didn't anticipate how much their sleeping habits would affect mine. Nor did I give a lot of thought to how much my writing habits would change of necessity. 

It is possible that having to structure my summer days in this new way will make me more productive. I'll let you know this September. 


Douglas Skelton said...

I understand totally. My boys - a dog and cat - want me up and about by 6am at the moment. It now means I can be at my desk by 8am in order to pound out words, some of which are even spelled correctly and are in the right order.

Anna said...

RIP Harry. He was a good cat. I think "Fergus" and "Penelope" would make excellent names for characters in a twisty mystery.

Frankie Y. Bailey said...

Yes, that's it exactly, Douglas. Writing, but knowing editing will be required -- and hoping not to doze off at the keyboard. I just caught my typos in this post and fixed.

Frankie Y. Bailey said...

Thank you, Anna. Harry was the best cat ever. But Penelope and I am bonding.

You're right, Fergus and Penelope would be excellent names for characters. I can even imagine how they would dress and sound.

You've just given me an idea that might work in my 1939 historical thriller -- a story in the story. . .