What do you do with a nighttime idea?
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.