It’s just barely gone 6:20am and I’m sitting here in the dark, the computer screen a blinding white rectangle that’s making me squint. The kettle’s been set to boil and already I can hear it clicking to itself, preparing for its full throated protest in a couple of minutes. Outside my window the palm fronds are a clotted mass of black shadows, with the concrete parking structure a honeycomb of illuminated levels beyond, all strange geometry and fluorescent yellows.

Why am I up this early? To write. Twenty minutes ago when my alarm went off I lay there, face pressed into my pillow, half awake and with my mind tunneling back toward the chthonic land of sleep as a small mammal might tunnel for safety when caught in the open. Just one more hour, I thought. Just a little more sleep. But here I am. Bleary and yawning and waiting for the eternal footman to stop snickering and bring me my coffee.

Ah, there. The first desolate piping’s of the kettle. One moment please.

So why am I up this early? Excuse me as I gather my thoughts, being only freshly returned to my desk. Why this extremism? Simple, though my reason has many causes. I want to succeed at writing, and find that this early hour is conducive to putting words on paper. Everything is as still and silent as it gets, the darkness has a particularly velvety and soft quality to it, and I love the gradual incipience of the dawn.

I need a head start on the day. I need uninterrupted time to work. To focus. A potential copy editor edited the first five pages of my THRONE manuscript yesterday (or was it the day before?) and returned it to me so that I might see the quality of his work. What I saw, rather, was the paucity of mine. I write like a runaway horse, racing at full speed but crashing through hedgerows, tramping across gardens, and throwing myself through thickets which I penetrate through sheer bloody momentum and force. The copy editor noted a couple of dropped words, several redundancies (he pulled both of his hands from his pockets), confusing sentences, overwriting, places where the adjectives were so thickly crowded they might have been the peanut gallery of an original performance of one of Shakespeare’s more crowd pleasing plays (something like Titus Adronicus, imperfect but with plenty of bloody bits).

I need to write more books. I’m currently working on a novella, and then plan to write GRIND SHOW II. Hopefully I’ll find a way to fund the copy editing of THRONE (maybe a Kickstarter project?), and will then work on revising ONE BY ONE. If all goes well, that should put me at 5 novels and 1 novella on the market, with my next project and BLOOD FROM THE MOUNTAIN in the works.

Each novel I write increases the span of the net that I cast into the sea of readers. Since I cannot muster the enthusiasm to market myself, I shall simply conquer the world through sheer number of books.

That’s why I’m up this early. Now it’s time to get to work.