Thursday, September 27, 2012

Goodnight Moon

In case you don't know it . . . the world is a very dark and silent place at 5 a.m.  I should know.  Most of my days begin at 5 a.m. . . .and sometimes earlier.  Not only do I make the morning coffee at that time, but I am usually sitting on the couch in total darkness, hammering away at the keyboard before the sparrows begin to chirp.  (Sometimes, if I'm still asleep and don't know any better, I drive to the gym when it opens at 5 a.m. and then return home to write after a grueling workout and a Hilligoss donut.)

Funny . . . as I age, my days keep getting longer.  Part of this is due to all of the work that needs to be accomplished, work that keeps me hopping throughout the day and many evenings.  I have to rise early, anyway, in order to have a fair shot at meeting these challenges.  But the other part of these early mornings consists of the many writing assignments I must complete before deadline (real or imagined by me).  And some of these deadlines take me late into the evenings, too.  Some days, I meet myself going to, and rising from, bed.  I'm not sure this is how life is supposed to work, but as long as I have work to do and editors who want my work, I'll keep working.

Most of my writing these days is accomplished, however, through pure adrenaline.  (Lots of coffee and donuts doesn't hurt, either.)

I find that there must be a spark, a goal, a drive, a fire in the belly.  Without it, I wilt from exhaustion.  And it helps to get a nod from an editor who is willing to pay, also.  I'm far more driven to write all night when some unsuspecting magazine editor makes a mistake and assigns an article, and a paycheck, to me.  As long as they are buying, I'm writing. 

These tiny paychecks, I hope, do make a difference, too.  It's fun sending the cash forward at the end of each month to help with missions, or food pantry needs, or even to build part of a Habitat house.  I guess I could say that some of these tiny checks pay big dividends.  At least I hope they do.

Some day all of this will be behind me.  I won't be able to work sixty hour weeks and write an additional twenty.  I won't be able to formulate my thoughts or type while I'm gumming my food or drooling over myself.  My wife will have to remind me that I was once able to write whole chapters at a single sitting and that there are closets filled with my discarded and rejected crap that no editors wanted.  In short, she will lie and tell me that I was once important and that, yes, there was a time in the not so distant past when I witnessed most of the sunrises. 


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