Early Morning Optimism

by Linda DeMers Hummel

It’s late afternoon. I know lots of bloggers who are just getting started about this time. Not me. I’m an extreme early morning writer, a luxury I can afford now that I won’t wake up anyone as I make coffee and then tread up and down the wooden stairs in my bare feet for the second and third cup. As a writer, I’m full of myself in the mornings. You would be hard pressed to find someone quite so confident at 5 AM.

But in these hours, as the light is leaving on what was a cool and cloudy day, I’m faced with the usual thought: I will never, ever be able to think of anything good to write ever again.

What keeps me from getting up from my desk and making tracks toward another occupation—something more steady, or, at the very least, not quite so heartbreaking—is the rest of you. All of you I’ve never met, probably will never meet. But I know you’re there somewhere, doing what I do, feeling what I feel. And I know that you, like me, hit the keys, and then the delete, and then more keys. Even on those afternoons when, as dusk arrives at my window, and I feel like the most untalented woman ever, I know you understand.

Having this affinity for women bloggers I’ve never met is why I’m so interested in looking at pictures of work spaces. I pore over them. What is that desk made of? Does she have a window? Does she hear the birds come up with the sun? Does she love her space as much as I love mine?

These days, I’m deep into the process of finding an agent for the memoir I’ve written—the work that I think is brilliant before the sun comes up. The one I think is laughably awful as the sun goes down. I keep finding agents whom I know would be perfect for me, only to uncover this stock line on their Web Sites: “Ms. ____ does not accept unsolicited submissions. Unsolicited submissions will be tossed in the garbage because we’re pretty sure your work stinks and no one would dream of publishing this drivel.”

Okay, I’m paraphrasing. But once the sun goes down, this whole process begins to seem like some mean-spirited Rubik’s Cube, destined to keep me out of the big leagues, where I think I belong.

Of course I’m exceedingly optimistic early in the morning when I get to my desk and lift the cover of my laptop and take a long, deep breath. Which I will do, tomorrow, without fail. At this desk. And think of all of you—of us—the writers who don’t give up.

aaf50509-3219-4b51-a54c-b405a171e6b8Linda DeMers Hummel is a freelance writer in Baltimore. Her blog, “Just Past Awkward, Now Approaching Old” (www.lindadhummel.com) is one year old. She is at work on a memoir.

2 thoughts on “Early Morning Optimism

  1. jeanmarie vandine says:

    Dear Linda,

    Kudos to you for shoving the blankets off so early! I am impressed–since I can hardly open my eyes until 7:30! I admire your discipline, and I am inspired! My greatest barrier to morning writing is getting distracted by less important or less satisfying pursuits such as laundry, cleaning,the newspaper. Yep, mere distractions feed my procrastination. Keep going with your quest! Much luck to you!



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