Friday, March 19, 2021

Writing in the Wee Hours of the Morning

Ninety minutes after falling asleep Thursday night I woke up, the first of several nocturnal awakenings. Nothing unusual here. Happens every night.

So it wasn’t special that after failing to fall back to sleep I began reading some news articles and then wound up at 2 am logged onto Facebook. My sister had reposted a comparative bar chart from author Lynn Miclea. It depicted “how clearly and concisely you can articulate your thoughts.” 

When speaking, the vertical bar barely broke the zero axis. When writing, the bar was 11 times taller. In bed at 2 am when thinking about writing, the bar was some three times taller than the writing bar. Of course, those are just estimates, but the sentiment is one I agree with wholeheartedly. The wee hours of the morning are some of my most productive. 

Still not able to resume slumber I surprised myself by looking at the comments section accompanying the chart.

Several FB’ers complained they were confounded by not being able to write down their thoughts while showering. By the time they toweled down their ideas had dried up, as well.

Murray to their rescue—“Buy a scuba diving plastic slate and hang it in your shower. Use a pencil to write on it. Erase by brushing it with toothpaste. I have had one hanging in my shower for more than a decade.”

I neglected to add the shower slate would keep one’s ideas from going down the drain.

Several people also were frustrated they couldn’t write when driving. They wanted an ability to record their ideas. Apparently they have not discovered the Voice Memo app for their smartphone. If they wanted their thoughts transcribed they could look into installing Voice Recognition Software applications.

Truth is, I have rarely used the record feature on my iPhone but the thrust of Lynn Miclea’s post rang true—many of my blogs, like this one, were started and often finished (except for minor copyediting) around 2 am or thereafter.

I write fewer notes to myself in the shower since retirement. No longer am I constantly thinking of articles to assign or new marketing programs for my magazine. No longer am I filling up the shower slate with ideas I am worried would vanish down the drain if not written down.

Well, it’s quarter to three. Time to try to go back to sleep.