I just Googled “Writing in the middle of the night” and came upon a collection of quotes by 20 famous authors about their writing habits. To my surprise, almost all of them write between 1am and 9am. Most rise at 4am and work for 3-4 hours.
I have been waking up at 3am for a number of months and attempting to fall back asleep, usually to no avail. Sure, I can down some Zzzquil, but that makes me a bit lethargic during the day. (I certainly wouldn’t want to operate heavy machinery or drive a tractor in that state.)
A part of me knows that I’m being summoned to the writer’s seat, but I really did not want to accept the invitation to pad downstairs in complete darkness. Sure, I love the craft, but I did not want to turn my life upside down with a nocturnal schedule in order to produce…what?
Of course, I can fight this (and I have), but my muses are not interested in my prevarications. Yes, I can silence them temporarily by my willpower (and the Zzzquil) but they will not stop knocking on my brain’s door every single night at the appointed hour. They want my butt in the seat and they will not be denied.
After reading the quotes by the famous authors, men and women who have achieved their goals of writing novels, plays, articles and biographies, the light went on in my brain, a neon light that blinked “Get up and Write.” Okay, I thought. You win. I’m not going to remain healthy if I keep turning to sleep aids, so I might as well answer the call and get with the program.
“Resistance is futile,” said the Borg in a Star Trek episode. Acceptance is, it would appear, is my only good choice. Sigh.
This is not entirely new. Most of the lyrics on my CD, “Create Without Caution,” were composed while Beth and the kids sawed logs. I have very pleasant memories of those quiet hours when I rarely struggled probably because my heart and mind were unencumbered by the responsibilities of the day or interactions with other humans. It was me and Jessi, our yellow lab, watching the sunrise.
So, it begins. I will heed the call, rise and see what the early morning births on the page. The next three months are not ones with early morning drives and children’s concerts, so I do have the flexibility to nap during the day and retire at 9pm, if that’s what it takes.
The Adventure, it seems, is not our’s to create alone. The muses will be my partners, again.