Deb Sarah Writes at Night (and Has No Life–She’s OK With That)

My favorite time to write is around 8:00 p.m., after the kids are in bed. The house is quiet. Peaceful. Finally. I creep downstairs, pour myself a big glass of water or mug of tea, or, OK, sometimes wine, and I turn off the overhead light in my office, leaving just the soft light of the lamp on. I crack open the window so I can feel a little fresh air on my skin, and maybe hear the sound of evening birds chirping their goodnights, and then I settle in to write. (Confession: I’m tired. Very tired. And instead of “write,” I just typed the word “right.”)

I’ve done this every night for, I don’t know, forever. Because of my nightly date with fiction, I’ve been able to publish a novel, sell a second, and make progress on a third—all with three wild children (and they are wild, very) in the house (ages 4, 2 and 3 months old!). To say it’s work would be a lie. I do this because I love it. Really love it. Life is too short to do things you don’t love. And while I’m not crazy about the writing process 100 percent of the time, I’m so passionate about writing stories that it actually feels like playtime when I sneak off to my office each night.

Yes, this schedule means I don’t have much of a life. I wash off all my makeup and change into my PJs at 7:30 every night while friends of mine actually leave their homes and, I don’t know, do things! I’m OK with that. For this season of my life, I’m a busy mom and a busy writer working to establish herself. And I’m having a lot of fun at both. I’ll hit the town again—someday.

xo, Sarah

10 thoughts on “Deb Sarah Writes at Night (and Has No Life–She’s OK With That)

  1. I can’t write at night–the hubby gets in the way.

    I often get up early, though, and write before everyone gets up in the morning. My most productive writing times are often 3-5 a.m. It’s 5:18 now, and I’ve been up since 3:30. Certainly better than lying in bed and trying to go back to sleep. That rarely works.

  2. Totally with you, Sarah! It’s 2:25am now, been writing like crazy, and am now off to bed. Curious if you have this dilemma — I could TOTALLY stay up and write more. I’m wired, I have lots of coffee, I’m in the zone, I want to WRITE… but I’m going on a field trip with Miss M in the morning and I know I’ll be no good to a bunch of 1st graders if I stay up as late as I’d like to.

    My only thing is I wish I was motivated to exercise late at night. If I don’t get it in before dinner (which I haven’t the last far-too-many days), I don’t get it in and I feel like a blob.

  3. I make homophone typos when I’m tired, too. “Know” for “no”, “read” for “red” — things like that. Weird little glitch in the brain, I guess. 🙂

  4. Writing counts as doing a thing! Your friends may be leaving the house, but you’re traveling the world, all from the comfort of your office.

  5. I love how you all are not sugar coating the writing career. Thanks for the honesty! Deb Sarah, I’m off to Florida for a few days and Violets is coming with me on the iPad. Cannot wait!!!

  6. Ah, yes. As a fellow night owl, this post resounds. I wrote much of The Heroine’s Bookshelf between the hours of 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. … as a busy entrepreneur “by day,” night is (sometimes) the only time the phone doesn’t ring! The sensory deprivation of nothing outside my window, no emails on their way in, and no other excuses is stimulating.

  7. I bow down to you and your time management skills!!

    I will confess though, that the occasional night out with the girls does wonders to fuel my creativity. Maybe that’s just because I write romance, and because my “night out with the girls” this evening will include a sex toy party.

    Tawna

  8. I feel like I’m constantly trying to find the “best time” to write. Sometimes the mornings seem to work better, other times late afternoon. Sometimes it depends on what I’m working on – short stories vs novel. Sometimes that burst of inspiration strikes and I stop what I’m doing and write right then. I figure as long as I get the words down, that’s what counts. 🙂

  9. I certainly admire all the mothers of young children
    doing the balancing act while writing. DH & I have the
    house to ourselves now, and that’s hard enough to cope
    with at times.

    I’m a night owl, which plays havoc with a part-time
    day job schedule, but such is life. Sarah, I’ve ordered
    THE VIOLETS OF MARCH and look forward to reading it.
    Absolutely love the cover, btw.

    PS~ Gosh, Tawna sure gets to have all the fun! I want
    to be just like her in my next life! 😉

  10. Echoing Eleanor, I believe you’re doing two things by writing at night. One is professional, while the other is personal — a gift to yourself. Sweet dreams!

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