I don’t like writing at night.
By the time the day has passed and the evening meeting concluded there isn’t much left. Words stick and clog my brain and what I do type isn’t worth reading.
So mostly I’ve given it up. I’ll drop my notebook on my desk and go home, and in the mornings the words will have shook lose and what I write will be clear, easy.
Sometimes, though, that backfires and my mornings are crazy. Sometimes I’m on a police shift and then it’s better to have written ahead.
I hadn’t meant to write last Thursday night. But the campaign event wrapped up early and I owed some time and so I thought I’d get my notes organized, make it faster to write in the morning.
For once, though, the words came relatively easily and I finished a draft before powering off the computer, driving home.
It’s a good thing.
We’re down a reporter right now and there aren’t enough of us and when I walked to work early Friday morning helicopters hovered over Indiana.
It’s never good when helicopters are hovering.
Turns out a house was burning to a charred shell a few blocks over and no one was completely sure who had been there that night, who was missing or who was accounted for at some other house. The students who definitely had been there had left. Firefighters were anxious and mad.
TV news crews were excited. There was yellow “crime scene” tape up across the block and “that’s not normal, do you know if someone was inside?” The camera man is asking a couple bystanders.
(For the record, it just meant they didn’t want curious passersby getting in the way. No one was inside.)
But I walked in the door and “is your story written? Can you go out?” they ask and I read through what I wrote the night before, fix spelling and names and file it and head out.
By the deadline there are two stories with my byline and the crime lists but we get it all done, somehow.
And I’m glad that, for once, I wrote at night.