I have a fulltime desk job so I write whenever I can physically tolerate it. Lately, I’ve been trying this thing where I wake up at 5:30 a.m. to write before work. So the alarm goes off, okay, and I unbury my body from the three pillows that are necessary for sleep. (Between the knees, to the side for an arm, and under the head.) I make coffee in the French press, grinding the beans, boiling the water, stirring. I do some stretches while that magic happens. Then pour the coffee into my smallest mug, drink it, wait for the drug to slip into my stream. That doesn’t usually happen for fifteen minutes so in the meantime I check Twitter. Usually no one DMs, likes or retweets me. Although one time I did get a lot of Twitter action because I replied to someone else’s tweet and the original tweet went sort of viral so then everyone’s likes and retweets got somehow attached to me? I’ve never felt more alive.
The place where I’m doing all this is my office. But it isn’t really an office; just a cheap renovation on what was once a balcony. The office is not insulated and neither am I, so I speedwalk to the kitchen, microwave a Magic Bag, throw it over my shoulders and sit down at my desk.
I have raging back and hip pain so when I say sit, I mean fidget. My feet are flat on the floor for a little while, then one leg is up on my chair, then the other is crossed under my butt. I’m in constant motion. It must be awful to watch. Luckily my husband is asleep or eating cereal or leaning against the shower wall so he doesn’t have to witness it.
Despite it all, I actually manage to get a fair bit of writing done. It turns out that my 5:30 a.m. weekday brain is very different from my 9:00 a.m. weekend brain. More focused and experimental. It’s doing good work. Recently, a lot about boats, sex and China in the 1970s.
I write until 7:00 a.m. or so, then back everything up with my patented triple-save method. (Hard drive, USB, web mail.) I lie on the floor for five minutes and perform a series of intense posterior muscle chain exercises. Then shower, shave, toast some gluten-free bread for the road, and out the door and into the world feeling, sort of, like a writer.
Emily Saso’s first novel, The Weather Inside, came out in 2016 from Freehand Books. She is currently working on her second. www.emilysaso.com / egoburn.blogspot.ca
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