Aug 1, 2009

Which Type of Writer are You?

By Christine Thackeray

Okay, I'll confess. It's 2am.

I was headed to bed but wanted to check my email since it was the last day of our BIAM. That was three hours ago. I'm terrible because when left to my own devices I always stay up late. Some of my best writing is done after the children are all settled, and I can let my mind free. I'm truly a night-writer. So I guess you could tag me an owl-writer.

My husband, on the other hand, wakes up with the sun. No matter when we go to sleep, he's up anywhere between 4:30 and 6:00am, depending on the time of year and has often put in hours of work before I even open my eyes. I know writers like this too who work best right at the start of the day. I'd call them rooster-writers.

Many stay-at-home Moms and empty nesters are morning writers. Unlike the pre-breakfast Rooster, they enjoy writing during the mid-morning after the children have left for school. In the afternoon they are then free to pursue other interests. I tried to be this type of writer this year but failed miserably- not actually writing anything legible until after lunch time. But for those who love the morning time, I'd dub them Robin-writers. The quintescient morning bird.

The Hawks are afternoon writers.

Hawks don't hunt at night and therefore never have to compete with the owls, and they've been known to eat robins. (I'm talking about the birds not the writers.) When I don't have the luxury of being an owl, I'm a hawk-writer.

Lastly is the Mourning Dove. These writers write in the evening. My first memory of Mourning Doves is when my uncle who lived in Mesa told me to listen at sunset to their peaceful song. I was horrified later to learn that Uncle Dave had a freezer full of these serene creatures, and he liked to eat them. Ahh! Mourning Dove writers have the discipline not to turn into owls. This may be fueled by daytime obligations but some people just writer better in the evening.

So, I'm curious. Are you an owl, rooster, robin, hawk or mourning dove when you're writing?

'Fess up.


  1. I'm an owl, but I wish I was a robin. That'll have to wait a couple more years until the kids are old enough to go to school.

  2. I bounce around in the hawk/mourning dove/owl area. Any time after noon works for me.

  3. I'm a hawk writer. My writing time is when the kids go down for their afternoon nap.

    I also tend to be an owl writer, when I can keep my eyes open. I have early morning obligations and sometimes it's hard. But it's amazing how long you can stare at a computer screen when you can't hardly keep your eyes open. (Not that I'm particularly productive during that time...)

  4. I find myself a morning dove but prefer the hawk, ha.

  5. I'm a bird for all times. No longer bound by my children's daily schedules and my husband having accepted a call beyond the veil, I can stay up all night if I choose, and only appointments (which still come pretty often) control my schedule. I think I prefer being an owl, but this morning I crowed. It's pushing mid-morning robin time right now, and I'll probably get going on a WIP by afternoon. Then I'll probably fall asleep in my recliner and wake up about suppertime, to write the evening away, sleep resistant.

    That is I'll write if I don't get started on Sudoku or get bogged down in email or blogs, or reading one of the many ANWA writers' books. Or I'll edit unless I get interesting telephone calls, or family come to visit.

    Or again, heaven help me, I just might become seized with a cleaning and sorting virus that can last for days, or at least hours. I'll have to admit, if i succumb to this disease long enough, it can make most other activities move with swift alacrity since I don't have to spend intermittent quarter hours hunting for something that got buried under the clutter.

    Now, where was I? Oh, yes, being bird-brained. I like them all.

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  7. Anna, you crack me up!

    Christine, I am a bit of all. In fact I strive to be a bit of all and write AMAP (as much as possible) at any time, day or night. Makes one quite crazy, but I think I came that way anyway.

  8. Maybe my problem is I can't settle on one bird and get into that routine.


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