Sunday, November 28, 2010
I cannot claim the genius of George Sand (nor even that of Judy Davis, who played Sand in the film Impromptu, pictured above), but like her, I love to write at night.
I hardly ever get to do it now, but a couple of weeks ago when I was interviewing Robert J. Wiersema, he mentioned that he always gets up at four in the morning to start his day's writing, because he works best in a liminal state. (That became the hit word of the whole evening: "liminal". Everyone at the event seemed to relish the sound of it...)
And that reminded me what I loved best about writing at night, when I wasn't asleep yet but wasn't quite fully awake, either, and the whole flow of the narrative seemed to come easier, somehow. I used to love the quiet, and the solitude; the sense of satisfaction that would come from closing off a chapter in the small dark hours before the sun came up.
My schedule changed, of course, when I had children. Though I did, I'll admit, seem to spend my first few years of motherhood in a continual liminal state, I was too tired when night came to put it to use! My writing time was fitted to the children's naps and meals, at first, and later to their hours at school, and writing through the night is not the wisest thing to do, I've learned, when you have to get up sharp at 6 to make breakfasts...
Which is fine. I have learned to adapt, and I don't think my writing has suffered at all for it. But this past Friday a deadline did keep me up half the night writing, till almost 4:30 a.m., and it felt...well, exhausting, but wonderful.
What time do you like to write?
Set your watches for Thursday, when Julie's next post will be up.