When to Write: or adapting with life

As anyone who’s read this blog from the beginning knows, I have a little ritual when it comes to writing.  Briefly, it involves a dark room, movie soundtracks and classical music, lit candles, and it being late at night so that my wife and little one are off to bed. But life is anything but static, and I’ve found myself in a writer’s funk for a good long while.

It’s not that I haven’t been getting any writing done at all. I’ve just been getting very little writing done other than the blog. And as my crit partner pointed out, the blog isn’t supposed to be the main focus (saucy left leg).

The change seems to have to do with changes in sleep patterns, most specifically those of my wife and child who have been sleeping in later and therefore going to bed later. Not too late, it’s not much different than when I was trying to rock my son to sleep when he was an infant. I’m still getting around to writing at about the same time, I’m just too drained from the day to do any writing.

My mood reminds me of when I was working as a signmaker by day and doing freelance graphic design by night. I couldn’t generate ideas at night because I’d spent my best hours during the day at my job. That job happened to be for a tyrant that I loathed, and didn’t help my mood any when it came to giving up that vital creativity to something other than what I was excited about. Mind you, I don’t feel like I’m working for a tyrant right now, just drained when it comes time to write. I’ll sometimes lie down on the office floor to quickly “rest” my eyes only to wake up an hour or two later in much worse shape than before.

I’ve decided that I need to find a way to get those good hours back and give them to writing. My solution: get up earlier rather than stay up later.

That might sound like a simple thing to a lot of people, but those people obviously don’t know me very well. I’m a night owl for one, and I also love sleeping in. I’ve always been that way. Somehow my body has changed its internal clock on me. I’ve found myself waking with the sun, going around the house to open or close windows and the like, and then heading back into bed and making myself fall to sleep. Then I thought, what if I just stay up and write while everyone else is still snoozing?

So far, so good. Anyone that has been paying attention to those rather static progress bars at the top of the blog, will notice that yesterday Spark’s status bar jumped forward a little bit. That has to do with not only the use of mornings to write, but also using the quiet time to focus on my story and what needs to happen. As I hoped would happen my imagination worked to fill the space left by the silence. It did so time and again during road trips this weekend going to different family events.

In conclusion, writing is not a Catholic mass; you don’t have to go through the exact same steps each time in order to call on the spirit of your story. In fact, sometimes you have to do the exact opposite.




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