2:00 a.m. Writing Life
by Sharon Tjaden-Glass
I typically get up at 4:00 a.m.
Not bragging about that. I know how crazy that is. But, please, do remember that I’m utterly no fun at 7:00 p.m. I am yawning. I am so close to passing out.
Five days a week, Monday-Friday, I get up to exercise before the sun comes up, when I know no one will bother me.
My new addiction is waking up on the weekends to write.
At first, it was the same time frame: 4:00 – 7:00 a.m.
But then… things started to snowball.
I would find myself waking up at 2:00 a.m., 1:00 a.m., and sometimes even midnight, my mind working on overdrive. I would try to go back to sleep, but sometimes, once the train has left the station, it was best just to get on board and let it take me where we needed to go, consequences be damned.
It hasn’t been all bad.
I have written some amazing scenes during this time. I would discover a flaw in my character that would make him more interesting, or a hidden intention in another character that I didn’t originally see.
I have never had a writing experience like this before. There are a few pivotal climactic scenes that I know that I’m working toward, but this series of books is largely being written organically, step by step, following a somewhat planned outline. Still, so much of it seems to be discovered in the moment.
The other thing that makes is super unique is that I feel connected to the story in an almost supernatural way, like the story is fighting to get its way out of me. Like it has been living with me for far too long and wants its own air to breathe, its own space to stretch its wings and fly.
Instead of creating characters that I thought I would like, I’ve let my characters become who they want to be–and I’m finding that its giving them more depth and dimensions than I had planned. Sometimes, my characters irritate me. Sometimes, they downright piss me off. And sometimes, they break my heart with their blindness.
I am thoroughly enjoying this journey of following my characters and seeing where they lead me, even as I know that we are approaching a certain cataclysmic event that will change everything.
It seems ominous–this knowing of the changes that are to come for my characters, anticipating how it will change them and their lives, in devastating ways that will ultimately lead to their greatest growth.
I’m starting to understand how authors can actually grow to love their characters and empathize when they ratchet up the tension and the stakes.
Though it would be so much healthier were I able to do this at a reasonable time of day.