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by Minal Hajratwala

We work hard around here!

My writer friend Mary Anne posted on her blog about waking up at 4am from bad dreams and then … writing!

I am inspired at how often she does this. She wakes up with way too little sleep — crying babies, nightmares, whatever. She stresses about it for maybe a paragraph. And then? She gets right to work.

By contrast, here’s what I do: Whine that since I didn’t get enough sleep, my brain is so tired that I *can’t possibly* do anything on my to-do list, let alone accomplish something so strenuous as to *write*!

But wait… now that I think about it, that’s a little too self-deprecating. Hey, little inner critic, shaddup! Actually, that’s not fair at all!

I do write instead of sleep. I just do it on the late end. Quite often, I either work into the wee hours, or I sleep a few hours and then am awake from, say, 2am-5am. (The BBC says being awake in the middle of the night was totally normal, pre-electric-lights, and could actually be good for you.)

There is something precious and magical to me about those quiet hours when no one else is awake. It’s the feeling of being a kid, staying up way past bedtime. It reminds me that writing is nothing like a “day job”; it’s a party. Hey, look, everyone, I’m getting away with something!

I admit, though, I do envy the cred of morning people. It seems so much more virtuous to wake up before dawn and start milking the cows, doesn’t it?

Sleep in till noon, and it’s hard to convince anyone — let alone my smartass little inner critic — that I’m working my a** off.

But I am. I’m just on another time zone. Maybe Moscow, or Argentina?

How do you balance sleeping vs. creating?

What’s your writing time zone?

Minal Hajratwala
About Minal Hajratwala


  • Marine Pina Urrútia
    6:18 PM - 19 April, 2012

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  • Chrys Fey
    4:57 PM - 15 December, 2012

    You and I have a lot in common! I am not a morning person and envy the writers who say they get up at dawn and head straight to the computer to write till noon. It constantly amazes me!

    I can also sympathize with you about the fact that it’s hard to convince anyone that I am working my a** off when I sleep in and don’t have anything to show for my effort expect black words on a computer screen. But what non-writers don’t get is that is work and it is very valuable!

    And writing at night really is magical. I used to write late at night and it just seemed that the whole world dropped away to allow me to write while everyone else was asleep. Now, however, my best writing is done from about 4:00pm – 8:00pm.

    As writers, I guess we all have our own writing clocks and, as years go by, they sometimes change.

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