The other evening, a young man who was visiting my Number Two Son stepped into my home office to tell me how things were going at college. He'd been dabbling in creative writing, he said, and then added that his writing seemed to flow best in the middle of the night. He seemed to think it very strange that he often wakes up in the wee hours feeling a strong compulsion to write something down.
I told him that wasn't at all unusual for a writer. In fact, that has been my own experience.
I don't know much about how my ADD-addled brain functions, but I do know that it works best when I stay up late or get up sometime after "late" has turned into "early." No matter how tired I may be, I can always write. And I don't mean to sound mystical about this, but during those times when my brain has slowed down to the extent that I'm not anywhere near alert enough to carry on a conversation or balance a checkbook or read a newspaper, I can effortlessly tap into the most creative part of my mind. In fact, virtually all of my funniest, most moving, and most creative scenes are originally written in a stream-of-consciousness kind of way when I am half asleep.
The stuff always needs to be edited later. And it gets tweaked a lot. But the bones of the scenes are there. I don't know why it works that way, but I don't want to examine it too closely and lose the magic. So if you ever hear me tell someone that I could write a romance novel in my sleep, don't laugh. It's true.
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