Midnight Writing

One of my biggest frustrations as an author is that all my ideas surface in the middle of the night. My work is the best when the initial draft is written before the sun comes up. I’ve never understood why this is.

It’s possible that there are fewer distractions for me. It’s true that is when my son and husband are asleep, but it’s always been this way. All of my childhood ideas were born after sneaking a pen and paper into my room (hidden somewhere in or under my bed so that my parents wouldn’t find them) and furiously writing away by the light of a keychain light or small flashlight.

Now I find myself sitting down at my fabulous work station that my husband set up for me in our kitchen, looking out the window at the bright light of the morning, listening to my son stretch and chatter to himself in his swing, and my mind is absolutely blank. I know exactly what I want to happen in my current story. I could write up an outline if asked to do so, but I cannot force the story to flow during the daylight hours.

It’s a little easier when it’s cloudy and raining, and it’s even better if there’s a thunderstorm, but this bright sunshine that normally makes me feel so happy is a huge frustration for me now. I could force myself to write at least five pages. But most likely they would be awful. I’d have to re-write them at a later time.

I’m sure that every author has their own preferred method or situation in which to write. Maybe this is how I write the best simply because it’s when I’m used to writing. Or maybe I’m just hardwired to be a night owl. Unfortunately that just doesn’t suit my current lifestyle. Even on the best of mornings, my son won’t let me sleep past 8:30am. Our day goes a lot better when I’m up between 6:00 and 6:30. And there’s not enough coffee in the world to help me survive on about three hours of sleep each night. At least, not with my child’s energy level.

My temporary solution is that I try to take a pen and some paper to bed with me so that I can jot down a few pages before falling asleep each night. This is working for the time being. I’m hoping that I can find a more permanent solution soon as a couple pages a night is just not going to cut it!