I'm always thinking about creating. My future starts when I wake up every morning... Every day I find something creative to do with my life.-Miles Davis
With all of the demands of being a write-at-home mom of a toddler and a newborn, I have been finding it difficult to find the space and quiet time to write.
Blogging, I can manage between burps and books, play dates and paint, bottles and naps, but my fiction requires a different focus. In order to really write, get inside my head and listen, I need meditative stillness and quiet. I need a room of my own.
But since I'm not Virginia Wolf, and I cant spend hour upon reclusive hour alone with my pen, because I share a Brooklyn apartment with a musician husband, a boisterous toddler, a crying baby and a ridiculously loquacious cat, the key isn't so much finding a room of my own (although that would be lovely), but finding time of my own.
The only quiet or down time I get is contingent upon two unreliable forces: a) My infant, who usually falls asleep first, must stay down after my toddler goes to bed and b) My toddler who usually goes to bed these days (thank heavens) without much of a fuss, must do just that and in a timely fashion. If the above has rolled out smoothly, and I've got no dishes left in the sink to wash and the floor has already been swept, all surfaces wiped down, then, around 9:00pm, I usually have a fifteen minute window, when all is silent.
Then the teething infant wakes or the dashing hubby returns home from a gig and wants to binge watch one of our favorite Netflix shows, or maybe the toddler wakes, startled and alone and decides to have a meltdown. When it's over, when it's all said and done, my brain is so fried, I'm doing well if I can recall my name. Sometimes I can't.
The morning is my only hope.
And so my experiment began. How to be a productive writer in the morning? Would it be possible. Would I be able to wake up? It's hard enough starting the day at seven am considering the infant is not sleeping through the night yet. Would I crash and burn? Would the kids sense that I'm awake and decide to get up and join me? Would it all just work out brilliantly?
Slowly I began at first, 6am rise, then 5:30 am, and finally 4:45 am rise. It seems to be working.
I am fortunate enough to have a desk of my own, a space of my own within a room that I share. But the magic happens when I can approach my space in my own time.
Apparition-like, my bare feet shuffle lithe across the hardwood, earl grey/lavender infusion in a teacup in my right hand, I've been known to pace the living room in those sacred pre dawn hours as I plan and concoct plots and settings, subtleties and flaws.
I've been keen on spontaneously rolling out my yoga mat behind my chair, working through some sun salutations or gentle flow poses to focus or stimulate my mind and body, get them working as a team.
It seems to be working.
In perfect stillness my future starts, I'm free to write and re-write, edit and deconstruct. There are no limits or borders. I have the pleasure of showing up for myself. And bonus, I have a front seat to the spectacle of the rising sun.
When seven rolls around, away go my books, my yoga mat, my journals, pens and laptop.
With the pitter patter of little feet, the clamor of the garbage trucks, the white light of the sun, I transition again from writer to mommy. A role I can truly sink my teeth into, because I've made the time to do something creative with my life.
Now, I just need to figure out how to get more sleep!