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New goal: become a night writer
I am trying a new thing: writing at night.
Time to write continues to elude me. Between the ridiculously early kid wake-ups and the morning rush and the school drop-off and the work day and the dinner making and the bedtime routine. Between being a mom and having a fairly serious job and trying to be a good (or at least okay) partner and friend and neighbor. I am working on Fridays again (writing Fridays worked while they worked, until they didn’t), and I can daydream about being Frank O’Hara and writing on my lunch breaks but it’s tough to do in the era of Slack and remote work across timezones.
Blah blah blah. There are always excuses not to do the thing you want to do.
My ideal writing time is pre-dawn, and I’ve had a lucky day here and there when my kid will sleep in, but for the most part, he is an early riser, like me, or perhaps I have made him so. (I can’t tell if it’s the sound of me stirring — tiptoeing through the apartment in the dark, trying to avoid the squeaky floorboards, fumbling with the French press — that wakes him, but I worry it is…)
Daniel suggested that I try writing at night, which had truly never occurred to me. For one, my brain tends to shut off after 4pm. Also, the roughly thirty minutes between when our kid falls asleep and my own bedtime is the only chance the two of us have to hang out. But, he pointed out, I don’t need to go to bed so early if I’m not getting up so early. Maybe I could write for an hour and then we could still have a conversation or, you know, watch an episode of Party Down.
So I’m giving it a shot. This past week I had two productive evening writing sessions. Two is better than zero, but I’d like to get to a place where it’s an every night thing, a ritual, a given, so this week I’ll be trying a few different tactics to convince myself to stick to the new schedule.
Can this early bird become a night owl? Will report back.
Some reading recommendations:
This Garth Greenwell essay is one of the best things I have ever read. What did we ever do to deserve Garth Greenwell?
I interviewed Catherine Lacey about her new novel Biograpy of X for the Chicago Review of Books. I am obsessed with and in awe of this novel. It’s getting a ton of buzz, and it’s all deserved.
Also in the Chicago Review of Books, my friend Sara wrote about Robert Lopez’s Dispatches from Puerto Nowhere and Peter Orner's Still No Word from You and it made me want to read both books immediately.
Over on her Substack, my friend Rachel interviewed Deborah Shapiro about her novel Consolation. You may remember that I loved this book ferociously, and the story of its creation is fascinating. I highly recommend you buy it.