unsuccessfully negotiating with my daughter that 4 a.m. is really meant for sleeping, it dawns on me that many a great writer must have, at some point, over-looked sleep, in order to accommodate the muse. I am not one of those writers’ who sleeps with a notepad and pen at my bedside – anymore; mostly because I realised that being a writer also demands that I put my health first to be as productive as possible and second of all because I feel a bit like a vampire – light and me do not parse, even artificial light, especially in the morning. This reminds me of one of Anne Rice’s many enthralling novels, Interview with the Vampire. It’s one of those books that you can’t read just once. The film adaptation is an annual must – see at Hallowe’en in my home, the characters fleshed out to their fullest potential in the book and the film and the acting is to die for. In particular, I liked Brad Pitt and Antonio Banderas performances in this film.
“Piggies in the market?” my daughter asks me. I’m thinking, no, thank – you. I much prefer my coffee black with two sugars, half cold water, hold the cream. When possible, from Tim’s or Bridgehead. So, we negotiate, and she wins. That’s two for my daughter, none for me, and the coffee isn’t brewed, yet.
5:09 a.m. the great debate continues, if she sleeps now, I want to work on my novel. Not because this is the best time for such things, but because the nature of the beast is that we make time for our craft when it calls to us.
I hear a lot of writers say that they do not have the time to write. Do you need time to write? Then what are you waiting for? Does your home need cleaning? Write between chores. Are you crazy I’m too busy to take time for myself? Are you asking me or am I asking myself that question – that will make all the difference to how I respond; but the truth is, if you don’t make the time, no one else will.
Are you a parent? Write while your children are playing independent games, write during their nap time, but first I recommend taking a nap too, if your children are babies.(Speaking as a mother) Are you just a busy person? You can write instead of surfing, write instead of reading (except maybe this time),write while listening to the television. I also recommend that you write first thing when you wake every morning for at least ten to fifteen minutes,if you need to, consider getting up that much earlier. I’m preaching from experience. It works!) And while it may take time to accumulate a first draft, eventually, you can produce one, or maybe you will simply find writing first thing in the morning cathartic, as I do. That early in the morning I tend to write more diary – like entries, but at least you’ll be writing.
1:15 p.m. Did I say I was going to work on my novel when my daughter slept earlier today? I did, but not until the kids got to school, I did some chores and surfed on the internet first. I’m so busy! Who has the time? Me. I do. And I’m making it now, and so can you.
Are you procrastinating? As writers we don’t do that. Ever. Do we? Even if I don’t get back to working on my novel until tomorrow, words are so entrenched in my being, I’ll have plenty of time to finish this novel. I will write when I’m dead. After all, dead people don’t procrastinate. Do they? That’s another blog.
Previously published in The Ink Never Runs Out