Good morning everyone!
I decided to become a writer a couple of years ago. Discovering my passion for writing, and with the encouraging publication of my debut novel this year, my goal is to turn writing into a career. You know the saying, if you find a job you love you never work a day in your life.
But in the meantime, I fit my writing around my life as opposed to the other way around. My responsibility as partner in a family business, and the commitments that come with having two small boys all come first.
This blog comes with a disclaimer: Everything should be interpreted; as a general rule, or to the best of my ability. In a blog post about my life as a writer, I didn’t think you wanted to hear about the times I was up all night with my son because he had a fever and didn’t write single word the following day!
(Writing cave rules)
As mentioned in a previous blog, I write in the mornings. (See disclaimer.) Don’t hate me, but I’m a morning person. I LOVE mornings. But only since I began writing. At night, during a movie that isn’t quite holding my attention, I’m secretly impatient for it to finish so that I can go to bed and allow the morning come that bit quicker. Something like a child on the night before Christmas!
And then it does. Without the need for an alarm, my mind springs awake, taken over by a restless energy. On weekends, or even after a big night out, I’ve tried to fight this energy, to no avail. It wins, each and every time. No matter how few hours of sleep I’ve had, or how tired I am, the writer inside shouts for me to get up and put words on paper. I may suffer for the rest of the day, falling asleep in my sandwich, but one must suffer for their art, right?
(Hopefully not this bad, but no guarantees!)
So anywhere from 3.45am onward, I’m out of bed and heading to the kitchen for my coffee. Notice that I didn’t say spring out of bed? And I can assure you, I look nothing like those perky people on the adverts, who look a million dollars in their cute little pajamas and perfect hair.
For a start, it is dark when I get up. And I too, look like something that crawled out of the night.
So I take my strong coffee, and creep into my office so as not to wake my two little boys and husband (who is the antithesis of a morning person), and shut the door knowing I have some precious undisturbed writing time.
Sometimes I jump straight into my writing. (If I’m in the middle of a scene and the words have been banking up behind that imaginary door during the night.) But mostly, I spend the first part of the morning doing a simple process of quietening my mind while I drink my first cup of coffee. This helps me see the story more clearly. I find I’m able to hold a deeper version of my story in my mind at once. My imagination can somehow hold more characters, and see the story and what needs to happen in a larger way.
Then the words come. Sometimes I take notes, plotting the next part of the story, sometimes I’ll just know how the scene will unfold. But by the time I have finished my coffee, my mind is usually in overdrive and words are flowing. This feeling is exhilarating, powerful, and as addictive as the most potent drug.
I continue like this, until one of the boys wake up. Of course they know where to find me. They crawl onto my lap and cuddle while the last remnants of sleep drain away. I treasure these moments, just as much as writing. I’m not disappointed that my writing time has come to an end, because when you are writer, you never stop writing. There is no rush. When one book is finished and in with the editor, another is started. New characters begin to form, and a new story develops.
My writing cave
And just like a motor that has fired up and set to idle, during the day, in strange places like driving the car, or in the middle of some mundane accounting task at my day job, the words or ideas continue to come. And when they do, I write everything down in one of my many notebooks, to be typed up later.
I wasn’t always a morning person. When I was working in the oil and gas industry, the letters on my snooze button wore off. But now that I’ve found writing, I treasure that time. The peace, the solitude, the ‘me’ time. The time where my thoughts are the purest, and untainted by the daily grind.
I’ve grown to love and appreciate the gentle tension that forms in the atmosphere before the sun makes its first appearance of the day. I love the now familiar sound of the first bird calls. And I love the words that flow out like a mountain stream, words that bring a blank screen to life. Creating something out of nothing.
I love the part of me that is a writer. If I have that, then it doesn’t matter what drama happens during the day. Because there is an alternate world alive and well in my mind. A life I’m living simultaneous to this one. And now that I have discovered that possibility, I wouldn’t have life any other way.
Good morning everyone!
Now, for that second cup of coffee…