Last night I got up from bed as I usually do, after my hubby was snoring. Had a little snack and then suddenly, phrases of a story flitted through my mind. I sat down in my chair to write it out and then looked at the spot on the couch where I usually sit and pray and night. It was as if it invited me to come sit there and write instead. And so I did.
I wrote and it kept flowing and in the end it was a complete essay. Slightly stunned at what happened, I remembered why this blog is named, epbulishing by Night. I do indeed write best late at night. It has been awhile since I sat in the quiet of a late night hour and poured words onto the keyboard.
Perhaps the best writing does indeed come by night. Or perhaps it was all in my brain, marinating for awhile until it was ready to come forth and it happened to be late at night. All this to say, writing doesn't punch a time clock. Oh there are writing jobs that punch a time clock. But this art of writing often comes and goes on untidy time.
I read an article once about a writer who set his writing hours like a job. He said that if he got up at 5am he was already hours ahead of other writers. What if another writer stayed up until 2am the previous day, does that mean the morning person is behind? And why does this matter, anyway?
What matters is that writing happens. By all means, schedule a block of time and stick to it. But also be aware that sometimes, that doesn't happen. And sometimes, more happens. Pay attention to the flow of your writing. Are there certain hours or days that work better for you? Then write at those times and protect them from distractions. Why try to force yourself to be a morning writer when you write best in the afternoon or vice versa. Most of all, just keep writing.
If you're curious, here's a snippet of what I wrote last night.
On the first night that my mother held me in her arms, she said I called her “Uma,” and patted her face. This was the first of many late nights with me. I was used to sleeping when it was day and being active when it was night. So she held me close in a snug house on a wooded dirt road in a little town in the Midwest of the United States of America.
She sat in the upstairs living room late at night with me; a room that was off limits except for special occasions. Sometimes she would try to mold the back of my head into a normal round shape. It had become flat from lying in a crib for most of my life which was eighteen months so far. This wasn’t the first time she would try to mold the unmoldable of me into shape...