4:00 a.m. Writing

What do you do with a nighttime idea?IMG_8031 adj

by Andy Scheer

The wind woke me at 4:00, rattling the downspout outside our bedroom window. I tried my usual methods to get back to sleep. Then it happened: I got an idea for my writing.

Like an itch I couldn’t reach, the idea grew. Fresh examples and new sentences kept tumbling out. I didn’t want to loose them.

Would I still remember them when the alarm sounds?

Either I’d stay wide awake – mentally writing and editing – or I’d drift off, and at dawn the ideas would have faded.

Time for my standard solution. I reached the stack beneath my nightstand page-a-day calendar, found one of my favorite pens (a subject in itself), and slipped into the glow of a bathroom nightlight. A few minutes’ scribbling preserved the hook, opening sentence, and key examples. Enough that my mind could relax.

Not quite. Back in bed, ideas kept rushing though my brain. Again I checked the alarm: 4:30. This isn’t working.

I rolled out of bed and slipped on my glasses, ready to tiptoe downstairs.

“Are you going downstairs to read?” my wife said.

“No. To write.”

And I did.

About Andy Scheer

With more than 30 years in publishing, Andy Scheer has provided freelance editorial services since 2010. He has edited fiction and nonfiction for publishers including Moody, WinePress, and BelieversPress, as well as for clients including Dirk Cussler, McNair Wilson, DiAnn Mills, Heather Day Gilbert, and Sammy Tippit.
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