From Hook to Book

Writing in Bed

I love being a writer. Especially early on icy mornings when the rest of the world is trekking out into the winter deep and I’m cosy in my bed – working hard. Writing a blog post, a synopsis, a chapter start or a whole. Or perhaps reading: industry mags, writing “how to’s”, or the novel I’m desperate to finish. Yes, reading is working – for writers. It’s a bit of a joke in my house some mornings when hubby says, ‘Glad to see you’re working hard,’ while he kisses me goodbye.

Pam’s Clipart ImagesIt’s my bliss and very good fortune to have married a man who brings me a cup of tea in bed every morning. With my mobile by my bedside, I can check my emails, Facebook, News of the Day, action on my blog and all things writerly without even throwing off the covers. It’s a huge buzz to step out of bed and already have written a poem, planned a storyline, or made a good writing start to the day. Makes me feel positively angelic.

I thought I’d google “writing in bed” to find an image to accompany this post, and ‘Lo’, I discovered lots of writers like/d to work in bed. Orwell finished the final draft of 1984 banging it out on a typewriter in his sick bed. It seems Mark Twain, Edith Wharton, Proust and many others wrote in bed too. I wonder if their type of genius grows through the practise. Here’s hoping.

I remember writing one of my favourite children’s stories, sitting up in bed one school holiday morning with the children still asleep, bar one up watching Thunderbirds, and giving myself permission to write a fairytale. A departure from my usual reality based stories. Transported, I wrote the first three chapters of Snozza in one sitting. I don’t know that I would have given myself the same freedom seated in front of the computer.

Sometimes writing in bed allows me to play beyond my usual style. I wrote my successful publishers’ pitch for last year’s SCBWI conference in bed – playing with presenting as my character. I’m pretty sure if I’d sat down to plan a pitch, in front of the computer, it would never have come from such a creative place.

Needless to say, my children are all adults now. No lunches to make or playlunch to pack. And I don’t work in bed every morning. Only I do try to read, I mean work, in bed for a short time as often as I can. Or I will again at the end of the uni semester. What sadist timetabled a  9 a.m. class? Don’t they know I’m a writer?

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14 thoughts on “Writing in Bed

  1. Great post, Chris.
    Maybe I should start writing in bed, if it’s good enough for you and Orwell!
    I write in lots of different places, but never in bed. I think and read in bed, but no writing except maybe notes but even then I’ve been known to stagger out of the bedroom into other rooms.
    Alison

    • Oh, yes, Orwell and I are great fans of the practise. Do try writing in bed, Alison, especially first thing in the morning. The creative juices seem to flow with an extra imaginative buzz. 🙂 And happily take side streams one might never venture down.
      Chris

  2. Interesting Chris. I think we should all do what works for us! I try and keep work to reading in bed and only if I’m sick do I take the
    laptop and iphone to bed.

  3. Fantastic post. I too write in bed… quite often. In fact, I sometimes think that it is only from bed (perhaps it’s the laying down thing) where I can spin my best word weaving. Thanks for alleviating my guilt.

    • Thanks, Lisa.

      I suffered the guilts too for awhile. Completely got over it once I started referring to writing in bed as work, which it is, mostly. Any writing informs on our craft and creativity in some way, and if it’s where your words weave best, I say, go for it – guilt free 🙂

      Best, Chris

  4. Hi Chris,
    Loved your cosy little bed-writing Blog.

    I’ve never considered bed-writing before.
    I might give it a go if I organize pen and paper on the bedside table the night before.

    Good luck writing at ALL the places you feel inspired :))

    • Hi Karen

      Give it a try. It’s so freeing. I always keep a pen and notebook by my bedside. If I move it, I’ll inevitably have to get up and go find one in the wee hours. I also have a pen with a built-in light, so as not to disturb my bedfellow (hubby). Wee hours writing is usually just “notes to self” or ideas I’m afraid will wisp away with my dreams before morning. Though I have been known to stop/start for ages,then give in and get up to write. (Some brilliant ideas in the middle of the night can turn to pulp by the time I revisit them in the daylight. 🙂 )
      Chris

  5. Wow, I was just writing a very similar blog and googled ‘Writing in the comfort of your own bed’ and found your blog. I’ll give you a mention today and follow your blog. Thanks for the inspiration Chris.
    Sandra

    • Hi Sandra,

      So pleased you found my blog. I’ll zip across and check out yours too.

      I was amazed to discover writing in bed is much more common than I’d imagined, and it seems we’re in some “great” company.

      Best wishes,
      Chris

  6. Pingback: Note 176 – Writing in the comfort of your own bed « My writing challenge

  7. Pingback: Writing in bed « Ricardo Blanco's Blog

  8. I write in bed too. It is warm, comfy, and my favorite place to read, so why not? So glad to see I’m not the only one.

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