Sunday, September 16, 2007

Writing Time-- Midnight Mind....

I realize, I write best (and most) at night.

Being the mother of a school age daughter, this is not really when I get my writing time. My writing schedule now takes place between 9-3. But honestly, I don't get as much done in that time as I do as soon the clock clicks 9 p.m. When night comes, words come. Images come. Ideas come.

Last night I went down to write at 9 p.m. when everyone in my house had fallen asleep, even the pets. I live with a house of early riser and souls that slide into bed as soon as the sun drops into the ocean. I am the only nocturnal one. I am the one they call "slow to wake up." But I'm realizing, as much as I've tried to push my writing life into the 9-3 schedule, my writing life is at night.

And I've started reading a new book that tells me to do a daily action in the morning for my writing (it can be meditation, painting, anything fun that may move me into that creative place). But my mornings aren't magical like some, like William Stafford who woke up with the sun at 4 or 5 a.m. and by the time his family had wandered to the breakfast table, he had written for 2-4 hours! The last time I woke up at 4 a.m., there was no magic but this pressure on my head saying, "Return to sleep, return to sleep, no good can come of this..."

I think we each have to be in touch with our own writing times. And while I think I can still get some writing done between 9-3, it will most likely be revising or submitting, or anything that uses the other side of the brain. My midnight mind is where the poems and stories come from. My daily mind likes to wander back into the kitchen for a snack, likes to stare into space rolling her worries into a ball of string, thinking "I only have this much time left..." At night, there is no clock, there's nothing that makes me think there will be an end to this time. Writing time is open and eternal where there is darkness. It's the time I will write the things that the daylight scares away.

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