By Nichole Giles
You know, sometimes I wonder how I ever get any writing done. I wake up in the morning, and run here, and there, and do this and that and before I know it, more than half the day’s gone and I haven’t even opened my computer yet. And then, when I do open it, the very first thing I do is check my email, scan a few blogs, check my email again, sign onto Facebook, check my email…
Eventually, though, I get around to opening my current work in progress.
This month, I took one of Tristi Pinkston’s challenges, and am attempting to add 25-30,000 words to my WIP by the end of the month. Hopefully, that’ll put me close to the end—if not all the way there. I’d really like to finish my rough draft of this so I can get to the good part—editing.
But when I finally open the document, I end up staring at the blank page for at least half an hour—not knowing what to write. So, I check my email again, scan blogs, log onto Facebook, edit work for other people, then get back to my document. I go on like this for most of the evening—taking time out to make dinner, talk to my kids, be a taxi, etc—until before I know it, it’s after 11:00 and I’ve only written half a page.
At this point, I look at my bed, then my computer, and generally end up playing einie meenie meiny moe between the two. But this month, because I really want to get this done, I work it so most of the time the computer wins the battle. I then take it downstairs away from my bedroom (so I’m not tempted to shut down and go to sleep) where I set up camp in the den and actually start writing. Sometime around midnight, I’ll find my groove, and by 2:00 a.m., I generally have either 1500 words or an entire chapter.
Then, I close my computer and crawl upstairs and into bed—satisfied that I’ve actually accomplished something with my day. Unfortunately, the cycle starts all over again the next morning, and I find myself wondering why I write best in the middle of the night when I should be sleeping?
Well, according to my fifteen-year-old son, the answer should be obvious. Sleeping hours are the most creative for our brains and just because I’m not lying down in my bed doesn’t mean my brain isn’t sleeping. Therefore, the majority of my work is probably more of an extended dream that has been intricately mapped out via words on a screen. And I—the author—am merely the vessel through which these brilliant and wonderful dreams are filtered.
So there you go. The answer to the one question we all get asked at least twice a day. “How do you know what to write?”
I guess I don’t! Really, it’s my brain being fed a dream as I sleepwalk through life. Whoda thunk?