Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Guest Author: S. B. Redd - That Creative Time of Day

S.B. Redd is an award-winning journalist and author of two novels being released in 2011: Warped Intentions and He is also the publisher at MavLit Publishing, which is based in Irmo, S.C.

My house is usually at it quietest between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. More than likely, my daughter has fallen asleep by default after talking for countless hours on the phone or spending time on some social network, and my wife, despite her tendency of being a light sleeper, has entered into a deep sleep pattern.

As for me, it's my most productive time of day. It's been that way for decades. I'll go as far as to say that it's probably a productive time of day for you if you're a writer or creative arts is your passion.

Think about it. Unless you're working a job that requires your productivity at that time of night, what person in his or her right mind will be up with a pen or notepad, or pecking away on a computer keyboard? But there is something universally magical about that time of day. All of a sudden, thoughts and ideas begin to make better sense. The words seem to flow better. That creative concept all of a sudden seems clearer.

For years, I merely made light of one of my most notable achievements in my former profession as a newspaper reporter coming from a burst of creative energy that I experienced about 2:30 a.m. The story that I turned in later that day was a rough draft. It went over so well that there were virtually no revisions. That same rough draft actually earned me top national honors for best news story in my newspaper circulation category.

The first time I really shared this experience among other book authors was while I hosted my former talk show, Maverick Media (on Blog Talk Radio), in 2009. My featured guest that night was singer/songwriter Brenda Russell, whose work has been covered by other artists: Get Here by Oleta Adams, Please Pardon Me (You're A Friend of Mine) by Rufus featuring Chaka Kahn, and If Only for One Night by Luther Vandross are just a few that went on to become mega hits.

Ms. Russell understood exactly where I was coming from once I mentioned the inexplicable magic that seems to occur during that timeframe.

A good time to write, she said. Often, it's the first thing that we write is a strong idea.

Since then, I've come in contact with other authors who seem to thrive during those early morning hours. They also attribute it to being a time of the day when they're best able to concentrate on their craft and summon much of their creative energy.

I suppose only time will allow me to conclude if any of the work I've now done as an editor, author, or publisher might result in some major critical acclaim or a noted best-seller. Meanwhile, I continue to peck away on my keyboard in the relative solitude in my house: it's also the only time that my wife and daughter aren't interrupting me.

--S.B. Redd


Jewel Amethyst said...

I find that I too get my best writing done around that time. Unfortunately, when everyone else in the family is awake, it means I have to be awake thus leaving me very little sleeping time. So those few nights that I can get in a 1am to 4am are few and far between.

Charles Gramlich said...

When I was in grad school, which is when I first really started writing short stories that were of publishable quality, this is almost exactly the time I worked. Late at night after I'd finished my lab work for the day. It was definitely productive, although in the ensuing years I've learned to work more during the day.

Liane Spicer said...

Welcome to Novel Spaces, S.B.!

I'm definitely one of the 1 - 4 AM writers. I've always been a night person and I agree that there's something magical about those early hours. That's when I'm most alert, most receptive, and most aligned with my various energies.

KeVin K. said...

For many years I wrote at the kitchen table from 3am to 6am. I'd get up around 2 and brew a pot of coffee and get to work until it was time to wake the children for school. The kitchen window faced west, so not even the sunrise distracted me. I was able to ignore the impending day and the outside world and focus on my writing. I remember getting a lot of work done in those predawn hours.

Now my life doesn't allow that morning schedule, and I can't help but feel my good-words-to-time-at-keyboard ratio has suffered as a result.

Great post, S. B.; good to have you at Novel Spaces.