I do my best work in bed.
This isn’t to say that I can’t write in other places, like my desk, for instance. Or the library. Or on the backs of crumbled pieces of random paper while waiting in line at the grocery store. I’ve scribbled dialogue on airplane barf bags, come up with new scenes in the middle of a restaurant (where I had to excuse myself to run to the bathroom in order to quickly jot it down on a paper towel), have no dates in my datebook but plenty of character backstory and family history. I’m quite the versatile writer when push comes to shove.
But bed is where I do it best.
This is due in part, I think, to the fact that my brain doesn’t keep a schedule. It doesn’t function on the same clock as the rest of my body. I can be physically exhausted, unable to move, but my brain will be like a 1,000 watt lightbulb or Hammy the Squirrel – “Hey! I got an idea! I got an idea! What about this? Or this? Or this? Are you listening? Are you? Are you?”
In the old days I had my laptop near my bed, so I could just hit a button to wake it up (if I can’t sleep, why should it?) and start typing away. Some of my best work came out of moments like these. GOOD THINGS, written what seems like ages ago, was born this way. I’d type until I was tired and then I’d go straight to bed, which was pretty easy seeing how was already in it.
This, of course, was before I had kids, which is another thing my bed is responsible for, but we won’t talk about that.
Now I write when I can, which can be measured not in hours, minutes, or even word counts, but in weeks or months. As in once a week or once a month. I know, it’s terribly impressive. I grab it when I can: greedily, sometimes resentfully (Do I have to write?!). My intense writing schedules and brilliant late nights are a thing of the past: these days I work to find a way to include my writing so it feels like a part of the life I have, rather than butting up against the reality of my everyday demands. Byron Katie helps a lot with that. My kids and husband deserve some credit, too. These days, I write at my desk and sleep in my bed, and somehow, amazingly, life goes on.
What’s your favorite place to write?
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