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?
12 Replies to “Good in Bed by Deb Mia”
Wow, Mia, I never thought of keeping a laptop by my bed in sleep mode. That’s brilliance. When I have a late night thought, I spring out of bed, gallop three flights down to my computer and bang it in, slightly distilled by having to wait. I’ve never written in bed, but think I might give it a try. Thanks for the link to Byron Katie. I’d heard of her but never tracked her down.
I do my best writing late at night, when everyone else is asleep, although I have to be at my desk, which makes me envy you bit time. In bed? Wow. I never would’ve made my last deadline had I tried that. I’m sure my laptop would’ve been knocked down and crushed by one of the kids or cats or my crazy 150 lb dog!
I’m thoroughly enjoying your posts and this wonderful grog — All the best in 07 from a fellow Penguin author battling ongoing deadlines.
I LOVE Hammy the squirrel.
And I like to write at coffee shops. I like to edit on paper there, too. When I’m in my office (and I am one of those lucky people who has an office to write in) I find myself surfing the web, reading blogs (LOL), answering e-mails and doing just about anything but writing.
but I do come up with my best ideas, my best solutions to problems, in bed.
Sorry about the one letter comment, the Reply took off on its own. But meanwhile, as mentioned yesterday, I do my best writing here in my office; although my best ideas come from the relaxing environment of a long, warm shower.
I do my best writing when the mood strikes me; aka whenever I grab a moment. These seem to be the times my muse is at her best. For this reason, I keep a notebook and a tape recorder with me at all times, including beside the bed!
Just discovered your blog and it’s terrific!
Having had the chance to read an advance copy of Good Things- allow me to say I don’t care where you do it- just keep doing it. : )
Writing on barf bags??? I love it!
I keep a flashlight, pen and notebook next to my bed. I get some of my best ideas from dreams and when I’m between waking and sleeping. Like you, Mia, sometimes my body might be exhausted, by my mind is going a million miles an hour.
I write in the salon of my boat right next to the mast. At this time of year there are swells in the harbor so I am always in motion. If I get stuck on a scene, I go to bed thinking about it. Inspiration usually arrives at 3 am, so I end up sneaking out, shutting the aft cabin door, and typing away on my laptop.
My cats are highly offended when I do this. They are my muses and take exception to any erratic behavior.
I write in my bed too! Every day 😀 In fact, I just ordered one of those laptop carts that slide under the bed so it’s more like a desk. Now if I can just get someone to bring me chai tea lattes I’ll be all set…
And welcome Nienke and Patricia!
Oh I hear you on the computer next to the bed! I used to keep a notepad and pen on my nightstand and half asleep, would wake up and scribble the bare minimum of words down to remember my brilliant idea. But sometimes just a few words don’t really work, and I’d wake up the next morning, look at the pad of paper, and think, “Why on earth did I write the word ‘hotdog’ last night?” 🙂
I forgot that I did write on my laptop in bed after my daughter was born – in those early months, it was the only way I was going to get any work done between nursings. Oops, was that TMI?
Really, I think everybody should try it at least once. I love my bed and bedroom. And naps. LUV naps!
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