Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I woke up at 4:30 yesterday morning to work for two hours before getting Gregory up for school at 6:30, and me off to the university at 7:30. I did it again today. Bliss! Each day I wrote for an hour on my book and then spent an hour tackling some other relatively small but significant work-related task: writing a book review yesterday, editing one article for the quarterly I'm guest-editing today. Oh, it feels so much better to get up and get my work done than to lie there in bed, paralyzed with stress and dread and doubt.

I reread Anthony Trollope's autobiography once a year. Trollope worked fulltime as a civil servant for the British postal service during most of his career as a novelist. He wrote, "The vigour necessary to prosecute two professions at the same time is not given to every one, and it was only lately that I had found the vigour necessary for one. There must be early hours, and I had not yet learned to love early hours."

I have always loved early hours, but sometimes, for weeks or months at a stretch, I'll forget how much I love them. I owe everything I have ever achieved in my life to early hours. Alas, I have to be out late every single evening this week, which means that by Friday I may have forgotten again how much I love those hours before dawn. But I hope I remember.

Oh, and my writing group loved my chapters last night. Whew! Of course, it's more beneficial for me when they don't; the whole point of a critique group, after all, is to improve one's writing through critique. If what I brought was pronounced perfect every time, there would be no point in being in a writing group at all.

Or would there? Praise and encouragement are so sweet. They made it that much easier for me to slip out of my nice warm bed this morning, at 4:30, while the rest of the world lay sleeping.

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