The Midnight Stint (and Cats!)

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When the creative juices are flowing, any time is a good time to write, but there are layers of this creativity that will dictate whether I get out of bed at 2:00 a.m. or stay in cozy-mode, thinking and plotting – it’s the words that are the deciding factor for me – It helps if I am awake or waking up at the time, but that’s secondary to getting those words down pat.

General ideas, plot structuring and solutions to problems all can leave me snug in bed. I usually have a notepad and pen next to the bed, but I also use a mental blackboard where I’ll write key words, usually in multilayered, multicolored chalk – white, then pink, then yellow, then blue, then white again, overwriting each word in a new color to lock it down into memory. That works well for single words, short lists and short phrases. With that, I can drift back to sleep and I’ll retain that information quite comfortably.

The detailed layer, however – the one that comes with the exact words you’ve been looking for – drags me out of bed no matter how sleepy I am, because writing on a mental blackboard or even in a notepad isn’t enough and I know that immediately. This is the layer that expands as I catch it word by word. What starts off as a small paragraph turns into three or four pages or more of wonderfully detailed prose, exactly what I want. If you’ve ever thought of a great sentence and lost it again before you got it recorded somewhere, you know the frustration of that. You ‘ll do anything to catch what’s running through your mind right at that moment now that the floodgates are open, even if it is the middle of the night.

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