Caffeine and the writer

This past week, I finished my newspaper assignments at about midnight. That gave me about four hours of sleep before getting up for my second job at the gas station.

Fellow 40-year-olds remember that commercial jingle, “Thank goodness for Chef Boyardee.” Well, for me, thank goodness for caffeine.

When staying up late getting deadlines or other writing done, it’s always a good idea to have a full gallon of ice-cold tea and a couple of two-liter bottles of diet soda.

In the past, I’ve finished assignments and had maybe half an hour of sleep before going to the newspaper. Thankfully, these days, that has not been the case lately.

One college friend mentioned that his wife gets up around 3 a.m. and spends a few hours writing in the nice quiet time she has while their six kids are still asleep. I wonder if she indulges in caffeine or if she has some other sort of mechanism.

When it comes to caffeine, I prefer iced tea. Diet Coke or a decent store brand is second. Coffee can be nice, I suppose, except that I’m not a huge coffee drinker. Unless I’m trying hard to stay warm during the winter, I’m not a big fan of warm or hot beverages.

 Richard Zowie is a writer who believes a day should not go by without exercising his fingers on his keyboard. Post comments here or e-mail Richard at