Earlier this past week I woke up an hour before the alarm, and a kooky idea popped into my head that would invigorate an otherwise stalled story. Seems favorable enough, a worthy outcome of interrupted sleep—except for the fact that it came during a week when I had three (!) papers due for school, a deadline for editing a colleague’s capstone for a different graduate program, and various other commitments (work, family).
Writers often lament the frequency with which inspiration arrives while they’re ill-equipped to capture it on the page—such as when they’re in the shower, driving, etc. Inspiration knows nothing of convenience. Or more like, the two seem to enjoy a largely inverse relationship. (I firmly believe that when perceived convenience falls to 0, such as while deep in the throes of morning sickness, inspiration drops off as well. Similarly, when convenience ramps up to its highest levels, inspiration creeps back in—I wouldn’t know from personal experience, but that’s what I tell myself for my eventual retirement…)
For the record, I completed all my writing (and editing) assignments, penned this blog post, and put my early morning inspiration into practice within the week. In fact, I churned out a complete rough draft of that story. It still needs work, of course, but I suspect the pressure of constant deadlines unlocked something in my subconscious and silenced my inner critic just long enough to commit the idea to paper at a faster clip than usual for me. Maybe I should be oddly grateful for the inconvenience. Maybe.