There was a piece on Motherlode recently by guest blogger Josh Tyson about the connection between a nocturnal nature and creativity. He explores the idea that somewhere between the conscious and unconscious is a kind of shoreline to the imagination. A few years ago, I might have laughed at a piece like that - not now.
I wonder if the kids are responsible for my habit of writing at night. I have always wanted to be a productive writer, but had found it nearly impossible until recently to find any consistent time to work at. Now I have it, but I never expected that time to be in the middle of the night.
My son, in particular, until recently was not a good sleeper. I was up with him a lot on my shift - which began at 2 a.m. I can always get to sleep early if I need to, and I can always get back to sleep, so this part of the night was feasible for me.
At first, I could do little but hold the little man and hope that he'd stop crying.
"Just let me sit with you," I'd say again, time after time after time, hoping that someone was listening to me upstairs.
I think they were, but changes like that take time. Asking for help like this is a lot like mailing away for something used to be - you just don't know if your order was received or if it will ever come back to you. These changes also don't happen by themselves. We had a lot of work to do to get my son to a place where he could sleep well. That work is well under way now.
And now the boy sleeps, and I get up anyhow. I get up groggily like I do for work most every day and get myself out of bed and I write.
I thought at first this schedule would not be maintainable; I thought I'd be exhausted every morning; as tired as when I had to take care of my son. I find myself more peaceful after a night of writing. I feel like I used to when I got out of the swimming pool after laps - exhausted and spent and unworried.
I've been up for a couple hours tonight. It's wonderful when the house is quiet. I posted my first chapter of a novel that's been in my head for some time. It's on a new blog of mine - there's a link to the right.
I'll be heading back to sleep soon. My head is now moving from clear and peaceful to groggy and foggy again. A few more hours of dreams and rest until the morning comes with all it's activity.