Joan Holub, Author of the Month: How a Night Owl Gets Day Things Done

Do you get up early, feeling immediately creative?

If so, I’ve always wanted to be like you. Alas, I’m a night owl. To me, the evening hours feel all cozy and less interruptible by outside forces. My energy peaks and my brain sparks with creativity. I get a lot done…

Coming in 2017:
Tool School  Scholastic picture book
Vampoodle  Random House early reader

But I can’t live out of step with most of the world. I have to get started earlier than comes naturally. So I begin my day working on something that doesn’t require me to be at peak creativity. Research. Emails. Designing a book postcard.

Then I ease into writing–the kind that doesn’t require me to dig deep. Morning is not the time to start a new story or make critical creative decisions on one I’ve begun. Instead, I might do revisions on a first draft Goddess Girls series manuscript—not the final-stage fine-tuning kind. No, the easy kind, like perusing Google images to get a consensus on a new mythology character’s hair color, or moving hunks of story around for better logic. Organizing facts is easy and fun for me in the mornings–probably one reason I write nonfiction in addition to fiction.

I’ve been thinking about what it is to be a night owl a lot lately because Nyx is a night owl. She’s the star of Nyx the Mysterious, the newest book (#22) in the Goddess Girls middle grade series I co-author with the amazing Suzanne Williams. Nyx is the bringer of night in Greek mythology. An important job. Yet no one at Mount Olympus Academy seems to get that. (I do, Nyx! Honestly, would they really want it to be day all the time?) Evening and night have beneficial qualities. Darkness serves us as a time to dream, both creatively and in a rejuvenative sense.

For us naturally-night-owl authors, the point is to find things we can do in the early part of our day that will act as bridges to what we hope to accomplish every afternoon or evening—create something new and surprising on the page.

Whether you’re a morning person or a night owl like Nyx and me, it’s really all about getting started. About finding a way to accomplish your goals, whatever they may be!

* * * GIVEAWAY * * *
Nyx the Mysterious
Book birthday: April 4, 2017
Goddess Girls series
Middle grade, ages 8-12
Simon & Schuster / Aladdin
Giving away two copies signed by Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams.
Please post a comment to enter (with contact so winners can be notified win).

Joan Holub is the New York Times bestselling author of Mighty Dads, illustrated by James Dean. She is the author and/or illustrator of about 150 books for children. To read more about Joan and her books, visit:



8 thoughts on “Joan Holub, Author of the Month: How a Night Owl Gets Day Things Done”

  1. Thank you for sharing, Joan! I’m a night owl, too, though as I get older I find that I’m shutting down earlier and earlier! It is indeed hard for us night owls to fit in with the rest of the world. I see so much advice out there that says to tackle your writing first, but I have found it works so much better for me to get the less demanding tasks done first and then ease into writing as you described above. I’m so glad to hear I’m not alone! My most productive time of the day is mid- to late afternoon. Unfortunately that’s right when I’m usually out driving my kids around, so it often gets fractured or wiped out completely. Ah well, I’ll just have to enjoy them while they’re here, and know that I’ll carve out some more creative time when they’re gone. 🙂


  2. I love hearing about your process Joan H. I’m a morning bird and lose my wings by dark — but you’re right that it’s a good time to dream and dreaming is a part of the process too.


  3. Time for bed, Joan?
    She shouts out, “Nyx, Nyx!
    Late at night’s when I get my kicks!”

    I can’t sleep in, no matter how hard I try, but that doesn’t always mean I’m very creative, first thing in the morning. Fascinating to hear how you work, Joan. And congratulations on Nyx, Tool School and Vampoodle!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fun post, Joan, and what a great giveaway! I also break up my time to take advantage of peak hours. I’m a natural night owl who also likes the early morning. I tend to have my best ideas as I write in the morning, and at night I can write with my highest level of focus and speed (but I usually only write at night when starting a project and in the homestretch near the end).


  5. It’s fascinating to learn how others approach their creative time. I AM a morning person, but I’m also an evening person. It’s midday that’s the killer – somewhere around 2 p.m. my brain just says, “Can we nap now?” Thanks for sharing, Joan, and for the awesome giveaway of your new book in my FAVORITE series!


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