by Cathryn Parry
As you might notice, I’m late posting this blog. My plan yesterday evening was to work on a chunk of story edits and then write my piece for the Super blog before turning in for the night.Just a few moments later (that’s all that it felt like!) the cat was jumping on my manuscript pages, war-gaming with my pen, and squawking at me to let him out for his early morning hunting session.
I’d done it again—I’d stayed up way past my bedtime, into the hours where my neighbors were getting up to start their early morning routines. And I hadn’t even written my blog yet.Now, I’m not confessing this incident to show how virtuous I am with my writing. On the contrary—just ask my husband, he’ll tell you—I procrastinate too much and don’t always plan my time the way that I should. But since I no longer commute every day to a job with a fixed start-time, I’m finding that my schedule has been naturally morphing into one where my body rhythms feel most comfortable.
It turns out that I love writing “third shift.” During the summer after high school, I worked a job waitressing at a truck-stop type place (New Englanders might remember the Howard Johnson’s chain), and the only shift available to me was the 11 PM to 7 AM slot.
At first, I was worried about my ability to stay awake all night, but as it turned out, this time slot was a natural for me, the family “night owl.” Once I had permission to stay up late without feeling guilty for it, I grew to fall in love with working the wee hours.At night, there is space to think. To stretch out. For long stretches of time, nobody is around to talk to you because most of the world is sleeping. It’s a perfect time to let stories unwind in your head.
The dawn is beautiful. This morning, there were red streaks across the horizon and the world was hushed. The cat and I stood on the porch together, breathing in the quiet, dew-scented air.That freedom to choose your schedule is the great thing about being your own boss. You can fit your work in around your natural inclinations, instead of letting work dictate your day.
How about you? When do you work best? Morning, afternoon, evening…or third shift?
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Cathryn Parry is the author of (almost) four Superromances. Her third title, “Out of His League,” a Boston-set romance between an outgoing Major League baseball pitcher and a shy anesthesiologist, is a July release. Please see her website at www.CathrynParry.com.