Night Writers: Birds of a Different Feather

What hath night to do with sleep?
~John Milton

Do your best ideas occur at night? Do you enjoy writing at the weirdest hours of the day when rationality ceases to rule?

Your ability to work (& when) is genetically encoded and cannot be erased. Scientists have long known that early and late risers have genetic differences. Our preference for early rising (an A-person or lark) and late rising (a B-person or owl) is as genetically determined as eye or hair colour. Creative people are not lazy or sinister or vampiric just because their circadian rhythm is different from most people! 

I am a night writer. And I am not alone. Researchers say 10% of us are extreme owls, 10% are extreme larks and the remaining 80 % fall in between. Yet, I am a night owl in a 9 – 5 job (help!), which can present its challenges since our work culture is biased towards the rhythms of the average lark (a bit “sleepist,” yes).

I live for the day when my existence is not dictated by an alarm clock. In the meantime, in an effort to help my fellow writers of the night live comfortably in an early bird world, I offer the following.

7 Random Resources for Night Owls:

You share your Night Owl status with: Winston Churchill, Thomas Hardy, Catherine O’Hara, T.S. Eliot, Edgar Allan Poe, Keith Richards, and Elvis Presley.

Once an owl, always an owl!


Also see Viva La B-Revolution: How to be a B-person and not get fired


Filed under Life and stuff, Writing resources

9 responses to “Night Writers: Birds of a Different Feather

  1. bjas

    Maria, how about a follow-up post from a lark?!

    • Maria McDonald

      I am definitely a lark. My day starts at 5 am (hungry cat = alarm clock) with a hot cup of coffee and the newspaper. Yes, I have been called a freak by my owl friends, but it’s nice to know it’s genetic.

      I find I do my best writing in the morning, and my best editing in the afternoon. And once I’m done for the day, I’m done.

      Being a lark means that I can mine the limitless possibilities of every day, before routine and responsibilities sweep me away.

      Any other larks out there who can comment?


    • Maria McDonald

      I just came across this article in Inc magazine. Looks like morning people rule after all:

      • Hmm. Interesting read. This one could surely spark a riot between the owls & the larks. Clearly, us evening types are simply indispensible. It states: our “intelligence, creativity, and humor are huge potential benefits to the organization!” Just saying…

  2. Lori

    Alas…I am a lark impersonating an owl…thus, I am tired. Always.

  3. We are owls… often we we meet to write if we meet too early, we end up just filling the hours with distractions until around 9pm when suddenly our brains wake up! We also have day jobs, so Friday and Saturday nights are our most productive times to meet and write, and the rest of the early evenings we have to pretend to be larks 😉

  4. bjas

    Ah yes… day jobs.

  5. Pingback: A Magical Time to Write: Summer Solstice « Restless Writers

  6. Pingback: I am the midnight gardener « Restless Writers

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