Speaking of Laura – she is also working on a novel and we discuss with some frequency how to actually get any writing done with two small children in the house. That’s why we enjoyed reading through Daily Routines – “How writers, artists, and other interesting people organize their days”. We combed through the writers looking for those who have kids. As much as I love TC Boyle – reading two newspapers, writing for four hours and then going snorkeling is not what the shape of our day looks like. And we certainly don’t fly like William Styron (who did have children):
“…sleep until noon; read and think in bed for another hour or so; lunch with Rose around 1:30; run errands, deal with the mail, listen to music, daydream and generally ease into work until 4. Then up to the workroom to write for four hours, perfecting each paragraph until 200 or 300 words are completed; have cocktails and dinner with the family and friends at 8 or 9; and stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning, drinking and reading and smoking and listening to music.
With Rose to guard the door, run the household, organize their busy social life and look after the children, Mr. Styron followed this routine over the next 30 years.” William Styron’s routine
Last weekend at a signing at the Willamette Store I met Devon Monk who has a new Urban Fantasy series out that looks just great (the first book is called Magic to the Bone) and we talked about, among other things, getting work done. There’s a very funny post on her blog where, under deadline, she slips away from her family for the weekend to work at the Edgar Allen Poe room at the Sylvia Beach Hotel (I proposed to Laura in the F Scott Fitzgerald room!).
All of that is to say, I’m going to become an early riser. You heard it here first. I’m so notoriously not an early riser. When I shared a room with my brother when we were in elementary school he moved his bed out into the hallway because I procrastinated going to bed until it drove him insane. I’m up much earlier now because of the children – but I still find it very difficult to break a late night habit (I heard Michael Chabon works late at night but I’m definitely a sharper cat in the morning. I wrote Couch between 9am and 2pm every day in Ecuador – sans children). Like everything else, there’s a site for how to teach yourself to wake up early: howtowakeupearly.com