The “five-year-old-at-Christmas” phenomenon

I stayed up until about midnight last night, just so I would be able to sleep in until 6 AM. But it didn’t work. This morning I woke up at 3 AM — that sort of hard wake-up where you know you’re really awake and it’s going to stick. I lay in bed as long as I could stand it, but finally gave up, got up and was at the desk and writing by 3:54 AM.

I know what this is — it’s that early phase of a project excitement, which, like end-of-book excitement, sometimes hits me and won’t let me sleep. I have all these words and images and cool twists and surprises, and just can’t wait to get them on the page. I’m like a little kid at Christmas, knowing the good stuff is out there under the tree, and lying in bed in the wee hours of the morning with my eyes squinched shut, body rigid, fists clenched, waiting as long as I can stand without waking up Mom and Dad, and finally just not being able to stand it anymore, and tear-assing through the house to pound on the door and yell, “It’s Christmas — Santa came and there are PRESENTS!”

Which, when you think about it, is a pretty cool way to feel about your job — and more than one day a year, too.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

4 comments… add one
  • Robert A. Sloan Aug 3, 2002 @ 20:33

    Oh yeah!!!!! That’s an amazing feeling, especially knowing I can go for it again and again! Coolness! Congratulations!

    Robert and Ari >^..^<

  • Nonny Aug 1, 2002 @ 3:33

    LOL Holly — with these hours, you should jump in Word War. There’s usually one going on at that time … 🙂

  • zette Jul 31, 2002 @ 16:26

    That is such a great set of images and feelings! It’s why I have to take my Visor to bed with me — not quite as strong a feeling as that, but sometimes the words just won’t let me sleep until I jot them down…

  • David Stone Jul 31, 2002 @ 7:54

    I have to say, I’ve never had that feeling regarding getting up and going to work – I envy you that!

    David.

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