Ted Kooser is my hero: Past National Poet Laureate, brilliant writer, funny, an amazing teacher and just a genuinely good man.
That's not why he's my hero (although it doesn't hurt.) He's my hero because for decades he got up at 4 a.m. every morning and wrote poetry before he went to his job at an insurance firm.
4 a.m. Ouch.
Still it gives me hope. Maybe I can do this. I wake up at 5 a.m. most days; how much harder could 4 a.m. be? So for two days I've set the sunrise lamp for an hour of the morning that my husband refers to as "the middle of the night" to try to make some writing time.
Two days in, it's harder than I thought.
First night, didn't sleep well and set the lamp incorrectly so it didn't go off. Didn't even make 5 a.m. Survived the day on abusive doses of coffee -- think "IV drip" level consumption.
Ah, but last night I was ready for rock-solid sleep and an early start to the writing. Not only was I tuckered out, but I worked a gentle 8-mile bike ride into my evening.
Unfortunately, the husband started turning over on a regular basis with remarkable vigor and vehemence. Then there were the sound effects -- "Mmmph! Mmmph!" -- as if he were moving a boulder and not merely snatching half my side of the quilt.
I pulled it back gently at first, not wanting to wake him, then with more force until by the fourth or fifth time I was ripping it back violently. He finally woke up with a "Wha?"
Just stop, I told him. Stop. He went to sleep out on the couch out of either consideration or fear.
The lamp dawned slowly at 4 a.m. I turned it off. I'm sorry, Ted. I'll keep trying.
When do you find time for your writing, and how do you carve it out of your day?