Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It's 3am, do you know where your wife is?

At 3:00 a.m. I turn into a Pulitzer Prize winning author.  In the quiet of the pre-dawn hour I can weave layered themes of written word from the comfort of my bed.  The work is genius I tell you.  The only problem? I don’t remember a damn thing in the morning. 

I started leaving a notebook and pen by my bedside so that the next time inspiration struck I would be ready.  Inspiration strikes! Oh shoot… I really should have chosen a simple notebook and not one that has a Velcro closure.  The distinct ripping sound will surely wake my husband who is a notoriously light sleeper.  No problem- I’ve committed my thoughts to memory so I’ll skip the attempt to write them down tonight.

Next morning: Remember anything? Not so much.

Inspiration: Take 2.  Awake and have fabulous thoughts ready to scribe.  This time I’m prepared. Velcro is already opened and tucked neatly so that I have easy and quiet access to the page.  I’m all ready… but then I felt guilty. Do I turn on the light? I’ve got it!  I’ll scribble the main themes down in the pitch dark and expand on it when there is daylight. 

Next morning: Can you imagine what your handwriting looks like when you’ve written in the dark?  My penmanship has taken a nose dive over the years.  I guess it’s from all that typing.  Cursive writing isn’t even taught in elementary school anymore.  They start kids on computers in Kindergarten and away they go.  Makes me want to buy pen and ink sets for all my nieces and nephews and start teaching a class on Old English calligraphy.

I’m starting to think that sleep is getting in the way of my productivity.  My next plan of attack is to get up, go downstairs, brew coffee and write until my carpel tunnel kicks in. Who needs sleep anyway?

writers' week



  1. Oh yeah, I can totally relate. I always tell myself that I'll remember my ideas in the morning, and I never do. The only thing I remember is that I had a brilliant idea last night, and then I get mad at myself for letting it slip away.

    Thanks for your participation in Writers' Week! I've enjoyed your post. :)

  2. Thanks Emily! On one hand you want to seize the opportunity for productivity and on the other hand you want to seize some zzz's...

    Fun contest, and I can't wait to read more submissions.

  3. I'm nodding my head and laughing because I can relate so well to this post. The early morning hours are when I have have my clearest thoughts as a writer. I wake up in the middle of the night with brilliant ideas and compose entire blog posts in my head while putting on my makeup before work. But do I ever jot down notes in my bedside notebook? Of course not. And then my mind goes blank the moment I sit down at my laptop.

    Great post! :)

  4. Oh that nighttime inspiration! Where does it go come morning? I wonder if I can read my dark written handwriting.

  5. I can't even tell you how many notes I have that I scribbled in the dark, only to not be able to read them in the morning. Or when I can read them, they're so obscure because I was half asleep and I have no clue what I was getting at. Every once in a while, though, I manage to capture something worthwhile...so the pen & notebook stay at my night table.

    Good luck on the contest

  6. Thank you ladies! What's a writer to do? Invest in an itty-bitty book light? (Do those even work?) I'm not ready to face the wrath of a disturbed spouse, so my search for the best solution continues!

  7. I've certainly used the "scribble in the dark" technique, also without much success. My latest attempt to save my early morning brilliance is to use my smartphone. It's already by the bed so I just pop it up and type in a few quick notes. Or, I fall asleep mid-note and drop the phone on my face, which is painful.

  8. Yes, this. I know this. I, too, am brilliant in the middle of the night. Also? In the shower. And the car. Also not ideal times and places to jot down notes!

    Love the velcro line!