Tag Archives: history

What writing means to me

I’ve always loved to write. I really have. I think it is either some sort of quirk in a chromosome that I was born with, or it became ingrained in me through my mom reading a book to me every night before bed. (Something I can’t wait to do for my own kids some day!)

As far back as I can remember, I’ve loved books. I devoured books. The best Christmas gifts ever usually came in the form of… you guessed it… books. By second grade I was reading chapter books. Boxcar Children was my series, thanks to my teacher reading the first book of the series to us in class. (My addiction to series books later morphed into Baby-Sitters Club and the various Sweet Valley series.)

In 3rd grade, I started competing in writing competitions. Every year I’d enter. And every year, until 7th grade, I couldn’t win to save my soul. But it never stopped me from trying. I enjoyed learning how to write descriptively, or how to write a how to paper. I never minded the writing portions of tests (often accused of not even knowing how to write “short answers” because they’d always end up too detailed), and I would often “write” stories in my mind as I fell asleep at night. (Usually based on whatever book I was reading at the time.)

I hit high school, and I took journalism as “an easy A” and I discovered a talent for the writing style. So I pursued it all the way through college. I went into my first newspaper job, and I found what I loved was my column writing. Free form writing again. No journalistic rules (outside of, of course, making sure I was being honest and not slandering anyone). Just write whatever was on my mind. And I even won an award for one of my columns!

Even when I wasn’t in a writing job, I’d write. Fan fiction became a new outlet for me. Then just writing daily in my private journal. I have always been writing. It’s become like breathing for me. I have to do it to clear my thoughts. I have to to it to share with the world. And maybe, just maybe, it’ll mean something to someone else.

I was recently asked to put a price tag on my blog. I came up with some sort of arbitrary number, even as I wanted to scream, “PRICELESS!” Its like being asked to put a price tag on oxygen for me. If I didn’t have this blog, I’d have another one. I have to write. I need to write. I love to write.

Maybe some day I’ll actually make a little money doing it…

Night owl

Its 4 am.

Yes, you read that right. 4 am. This is not an unusual hour for me. It’s about bed time, I suppose, and I write this from my bed. Quality time with my blog tonight, I guess you could say.

I’m a night owl. I am sure many people think this fact is due to my having married a musician who is, by profession, a night owl himself. However, I think a big part of why my husband and I ever hit it off is the simple fact that I’ve pretty much always been a night owl.

I remember back in Elementary school, I was baffled about how none of my classmates knew that at 10:30 pm, after the news, M*A*S*H came on for half an hour. Bed time was always after that show, of course, but it was perfectly normal for me to stay up to watch the show!

My classmates were all in bed by, I assumed, 8 or 9 pm. Me? I’d be up until 11 pm, mostly because there was no point to my going to bed any earlier. I wasn’t going to sleep anyway!

In high school, I was introduced to After MidNite with Blair Garner while I did homework. IF I was done with my homework, I’d still lay in bed awake until all hours listening to the radio host’s antics. If there was an artist I was really interested in being interviewed, I’d be awake until 3 am easily… waiting to hear the interview.

Now, all this being said, I’ve never been a morning person. I can remember in Elementary school, I’d get up and have cereal for breakfast. I’d build myself a fort out of cereal boxes around my bowl in an attempt to keep the light out. I already didn’t think the day should even consider starting before 10 am. At the earliest.

Somewhere along the way, I learned how to live on about 4 hours of sleep. I did that through most of college. Go to bed around 3 am. Get up by 6 or 7 am. Drive to 8 am classes. I kept this schedule up into my job at a newspaper… staying up late, though, to talk to a guy instead of to do homework.

I married that guy.

I moved to Nashville.

My night owl-ness got worse.

You can ask most of my friends here in Nashville. This fact is not unusual. It’s almost a, “Welcome to Nashville,” phenomenon.

However, its not when we go out, or if I pick up a night working downtown at the bar, that my being a night owl takes a ridiculous turn. While I’ve driven home from downtown while the sun rises, its actually when my husband goes on the road that I stay up super late. You see, sunrise offers me some sort of strange security blanket. Its like the first rays of light bring with them this sense of safety. Like I can relax and go into that vulnerable sleep-state.

I sleep as the sunrises. I wake as most go to lunch. Some days, I wake as the school bus drops off neighborhood kids. I have coffee and cereal, as they have candy bars and cokes. This is normal for me.

I try hard to adjust my schedule from time to time. I miss daylight, and I force myself up by 10 or 11 am. However, I often still stay up late after that… and I find myself sleeping even later than normal the next day to compensate! Its at times like that, that I realize that sometimes its not worth fighting the body’s natural clock. I’ll fight it when we have kids. For now, I’ll just stay a night owl.

It is what it is. And what it is now… bedtime.