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Words (and crumbs) between the sheets

laptopinbed

Have you considered writing in bed? I started doing it for the first time not long ago. Silly, because one of the most tempting points for this apartment for my husband and I was that I’d have my own office space, which has lately been collecting dust. We’re heading toward winter here in Australia, so leaping out of bed first thing has become a less than exhilarating prospect, and the situation isn’t helped at all by Tim making me coffee in bed every morning. So after a binge session of Married At First Sight left the laptop by my bed overnight, I woke up one morning and decided to put some words down before hitting the shower.

And WOW. Did I ever put words down! Yes, I’m almost finished the second book in the Crimson Lake series, so for me, I always write faster and harder toward the end. But by writing in bed first thing in the morning I’m putting down 2-3k per day, about half of them in that morning session. I have some theories about why writing in bed is so good. Allow me to speculate.

  1. The bed is a private and intimate space, so perhaps there’s a corner of my brain that says – Hey, we’re safe here. This is where we relax, this is where our secrets are kept. Maybe the inner-sanctum type nature of the bedroom space in the household works against those inhibiting influences that hold back the words.
  2. This is not a place of ‘work’ – although I’m hearing men on my bad reality TV shows laughingly calling the bed the ‘workbench’ lately. Whoever came up with that is a douschebag. There’s no hint of work-like feelings between the sheets in the rudie-nudie or in your teddy-bear pyjamas, whichever you prefer, so I think this is helping the scenes come rolling in.
  3. Temperature control – Hello comfort! In what other occupation do you get to bring your doona and pillows with you? (Professional horror movie sleep-over attendee? Why isn’t that a job?).
  4. ‘Bonus’ time – anything you get done even before you shower and brush your teeth in the morning is ‘bonus’, right? It doesn’t count toward your planned achievements for the day because your day hasn’t even started yet! This is why people who work out in the early morning hours are so smug. Well, GUESS WHAT. Write in bed and you can claim all the smuggery of over-achieving early risers without the sheer insanity of hitting the gym in the morning.
  5. ‘Creative naps’ – Inspiration-encouraging napping is the right and privilege of all writers. And look at this – you’re already all set up for it! Genius.

Of course, I there are downsides to writing in bed. You’re going to need snacks and coffee, and you will have crumbs between the sheets – there’s no avoiding it, crumbs and sheets love each other. I do not recommend that collaborative novels be written in bed, unless of course you’re one of those weird couples who collaborate on novels. The five women who make up Alice Campion might have a difficult time. But overall, a real winner, at least for me. Try it some time! Happy snuggling everybody!

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