Writing by Night

Published Sunday, August 23, 2009 1:53 AM
Unless you're getting paid to write fiction, which I am most certainly not, or you're a billionaire who lives in a bubble with all your meals brought to you by servants and have no familial ties, then you just don't have enough time to write. I know I don't have as much as I'd like. What with wedding plans, working, looking for better work, looking for a house and everything in between I'm starting to go bananas with bottled up ideas (only someone who is really bananas would ever use the phrase "going bananas").

So, like Tolkien and so many others before, I resort to writing in the dead of night and therefore would like to share a small list of pros and an appropriately long list of cons about nocturnal scribing.

Pros Quiet - No one is up means no one to bother you. Write away in the pristine calm of the wee hours of the day.

Time - Congratulations, now that you've eliminated sleep from your 'to do' list you've opened up a whole seven or eight hours for just writing.

Cons Quiet - Let me tell you, when there is no noise in a house, there are a lot of little noises. Why do things keep clicking and groaning? Okay, so now I may be too frightened to write. Bad solution: arming yourself. Guns don't kill people, paranoid insomniacs with guns kill people. Better solution: some soft music (but now I know that behind the Tchaicovsky, the creeping noises are still there....waiting).

Sleep Deprivation - You know that busy life that's forcing you to write on the graveyard shift? Congrats you've just added sleep deprivation to your list of problems, the stress enhancing, brain impairing, speech slurring, reaction slowing causer of heart disease irritability and in severe cases, death (Don't take if you're on nitrates for chest pains, pregnant or may become pregnant. Ask your doctor if sleep deprivation is right for you!). Bad solution: arming yourself. Good solution: don't write at night or take naps at work George Costanza style.

Errors - Better alot for some time to proofreader when you're more conscious because you're about to see a huge increase in typos, incorrect words, and a whole host of 'what the hell was I trying to say here?' Oh wait, you don't have time to proof read during the day, that's why you're writing at night. Bad solution: take out an ad to tutor english students and coerce them into proof reading your material while you make extra money. Good solution: crank up the grammar check sensitivity and MS word and get ready to see green.

Hunger - Guess what happens when don't go to sleep? Your body's metabolism doesn't slow down and you need to eat again. I'm not exactly gonna cook another meal so unless there's leftovers, it's junk food for me. Coupled with the liter of soda you're downing to stay awake this may lead to weight gain and dental problems. Bad solution: I.V. Good solution: an apple?

Bathroom breaks - Caution, flushing toilet may rouse loved ones. Bad solution: Catheter. Good solution: If it's yellow, let it mellow...

Crap - I know, after "bathroom breaks" you thought I was being literal but get your mind out of the septic tank and remember this is about writing and the fact is, tired, hungry, and paranoid doesn't exactly amount to a positive work environment and you may find the next morning that your wrote was sheer (say it together now) crap. Just like that idea for an invention your scribbled on a coffee filter while you were high, your night's labors may confuse and embarrass.

Well, there you have it. Writing at night may not be worth it, but then again you don't have to write after midnight when everyone has gone to bed. Evening writing is much more smart, though arguably more anti-social. No plan is perfect though and if you're as serious about making it as a writer as I am, the first thing you have to do is make the time and look forward to when you're getting payed and can work during the day like a normal person.

Until next time, I'm Eric and I'm an unpublished fiction writer.

by DMI
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