Writing in Bed

Photo by Annie Leibowitz
Marcel Proust did it. So did George Orwell, and Winston Churchill, and Truman Capote. Also Edith Wharton (as recreated in the above photograph), and Nancy Mitford wrote all her letters first thing in the morning, before getting up.

Over the school holidays just gone, I got into the habit of staying in bed for a couple of hours and working. Daughter no. 1 was still asleep, daughter no. 2 would get herself some breakfast and happily occupy herself on the computer, so I could often count on a good two or three hours of uninterrupted time to bash out a few hundred words, or prepare a writing workshop, or even write a blog post. Then I could get up, with almost the whole day ahead of me, and the lovely virtuous feeling that I'd already been productive.

So this morning, first day back at school, I'm trying to recreate this useful habit. I'm not sure if it's going to work quite as well when I've been up for two and a half hours, showered, taken the dog for a walk and seen everyone off to work and school before I hop back into bed. I suspect part of the success of this technique depends upon the writing being the first thing I do, rather than making lunches, buttering toast, nagging about runners for PE, brushing hair, shooing the dog outside, getting dressed, etcetera, etcetera. But I'm prepared to trial the going-back-to-bed variation for a while and see how it works.

So far I've written a blog post. No progress on the novel yet. But we shall see.

I suppose the other alternative might be to wake up early, say 5.30am, haul the laptop into bed with me and work for and hour and half or so until it's time to start all the other morning stuff. But my husband might object to that. I can't find any evidence of what the above-mentioned writers' spouses might have thought of their writing-in-bed habit. Hm, now that I think about it, quite a few of them were single… I'm sure that's just a coincidence!

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