I Love the Night

Homework done. School papers and forms signed. Time to write.

Terrible time waking up this morning. I've always been a night person, and this is not something one turns on and off with a switch. The first day was taken care of by the fact that I was excited for my kids, but three days in and I'm suffering from severe time-warp shock. It's still dark when my alarm goes off at 5:30am, and, I don't know, that just seems to me like an affront to nature. My body fights it with everything its got. Unfortunately, I know myself well enough to understand that I won't ever really adjust. Oh, well. Guess I'll just play catch up on the weekends.

As it turns out, my best-laid plans of writing all day while the kids are at school have gone predictably awry. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I have to be with my son at school every day, which doesn't leave much time for fiction. During the day, anyway. So, as an alternative, the LOML and I have worked out a schedule whereby he takes over when he gets home from work, and I disappear for a couple of hours to write. I'm sure it will be a fluid thing, changing here and there as need calls, but the point is I have set aside time. Everything else be damned, I have set aside time.

This experience I've had the past year or so, the experience of "becoming" a writer, has really opened my eyes to the balancing act most of us have to perform to practice our art. We have jobs, families, a million things that call us from the pen, a million distractions waiting right there at the edge of our vision. That some of manage to do all of these things, play all of these roles, and still find time to create worlds in the time that remains is absolutely amazing to me. It's a balancing act to be sure, a delicate dance, whereby I try to avoid alienating my family, keep up my obligations, and write a book. Oh, yes, and make sure everyone has clean socks to wear.

Yesterday I used my apportioned block to begin a new story, "The White Crow". It's based on another story I started last summer on vacation, one that ended up losing it's focus and being shelved. This time around I managed to pick up the spark I'd somehow lost, and finished the outlining along with a few paragraphs in one sitting. So now I have a plot, and tonight we'll see how closely I end up sticking to it.

You have to want to be a writer. You have to want it bad. Turns out it's not really a choice of careers - it's a vocation.

13 August 2009


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