This morning I tried something that didn’t work a lick. In retrospect, I see that I was stupid to think that it might work all, I came up with the idea at 4:30 in the morning, so I’ll give myself some latitude. At the time, I foolishly thought I’d found a loophole in how to conduct my day-to-day life.

I write almost daily, and my most productive time for writing is the first hour of the day. It is not unusual for me to struggle with a paragraph for hours in the late afternoon, then have it fall into place in a matter of minutes first thing the next morning. Wouldn’t it be great if I could have more than one first hour in a day? As I mentioned in a previous blog, I occasionally wake up in the middle of the night, then read for fifteen or twenty minutes to help me fall back to sleep. Last night I woke up and wondered what would happen if I wrote instead of read.  I could write for twenty minutes, go back to sleep, then wake up two hours later to write again.  It would be, in effect, two opportunities for the writing to come easily. I don’t care how quickly I write, but I’d welcome the repeated rush of writing well. 

And therein lies the flaw in my thinking. I’d forgotten about the rush. Writing is a stimulant, not a sleep aid. I already knew this, and it is the reason that I rarely write after dinner. This morning I started writing at 4:30am. By five o’clock my mind was racing, and I had no chance of falling back to sleep.  I didn’t even consider crawling back into bed. Instead I brushed my teeth, brewed a cup of coffee, and started my day.  I’ll probably crash this afternoon and have to take a nap.  There is a chance that I will wake up from my nap itching to write, but I doubt it.  More likely I will be groggy and bothered that I didn’t get eight hours of sleep the night before. In life, there are no loopholes. 

Steven Simpson