Tuesday, March 12, 2013

On Using those Odd Times to Write

I did have a list of things I wanted to blog about, but I'm pretty sure I threw it away. But I did remember this, so here it goes.

“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.” ― Saul Bellow 

As of late, I've found that quote to ring (for the most part) true. And maybe that comes from the whole idea that when inspiration strikes, it's good. And when inspiration strikes, it has to be written down. It doesn't matter if it's 2am, and you're just crawling into bed even though you have to work first thing in the morning. Yet you find yourself turning on your bedside lamp over and over again because the next sentence keeps popping into your head.

Maybe that's just me? Okay.

It just seems to be likely though, that it is the real inspiration kick. That's when it's clear that something is good because it couldn't wait to be written. Sure, it'll probably go through a thousand or so rewrites, but the core of it will remain. That whole reason why sleep was sacrificed will continue to drive the story forward.

On top of that, I've been discovering the best times to write. I'm probably just lucky lately, but in addition to that late night writing, I've been slipping it in at odd times. (As the title suggests.)

Here's a little story: Since January, my car has been to the mechanic three times for transmission problems. First it broke down, then it started making noise, and then I was merely paranoid and needed reassurance. Regardless, with it at the mechanic time and time again, my father has been driving me into work. He needs to be at work about 45 minutes before I do, which puts me at work a full hour before I have to be there. I'm not allowed to work, so what do I do?

That's right, I whipped out my gray, spiral-bound notebook, and I wrote page after page. Sometimes the best time to write is when you have nothing better to do and you're too tired to read a book.

Finally, something is making its way out of my head and onto paper and it's one of the most satisfying feelings I've felt, which I haven't felt in a long time. I can only hope I keep it up. And I'm partly hoping that my newly discovered love of hard cider has something to do with it, solely because apple juice was my go to for my first completed manuscript, and now that I'm 21, I needed a kick in the pants... or the drink.

But whatever the reason, I'm writing, and I'm taking advantage of the odd times to do it.


  1. Good for you! I blogged about this issue today too...but my solution was (sort of) to get a time-turner. Lol. I probably don't give myself enough credit--I think I actually *have* learned pretty well to take advantages of odd times to write. Though sometimes "odd" simply means late. (And you are NOT the only one who does the repeated-light-turning-on thing!)

  2. I haven't had as much luck with things I got up in the middle of the night to write. They just don't make a lot of sense in the morning. Although I did have a weird idea just before bed the other night, and I'm still kicking it around as a seed of a potential story.

    You never know. I think it took 18 months for my seed of an "eighth day" story to actually turn into the start of an actual manuscript.

    Sometimes seeds take a long time to germinate -- and sometimes they spring into something wonderful overnight. Good for you for taking that odd time to write!