Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Creativity Comes At Night…or I’m a Vampire

Ever since I was a very small child, I could easily eschew the normalcy of sleeping at night and being active during the day for the strange wonderment of sleeping in the day and being up – and creative – at night. There was, and is, for me something comforting about crawling under the covers of a cool, crisp sheets with an eye-mask on and dozing off to the peaceful sounds of my fan (I love my white noise. Don’t mess with my fan) and the distant vibes of life in the city going on around me. Then, in the cool darkness of night, I love to be up, checking out late night television (it’s wonderfully awful) and writing away at whatever my current work in progress of the day is, while my neighbors sleep and everything is still.

Yet, there was always one fly in the ointment of my late night creativity: the fact that the rest of world always insisted I be awake somewhere during the day: grade school, high school, college, graduate school, work – all happen during the day. It’s a big day-lover’s conspiracy or something. But my desire to write comes at night (and in the middle of work meetings, formerly in the middle of math classes), so what is a gal to do?

There’s little I can do about it. At least until I win the lottery and get to write from home full-time.  Many times people have said to me, “But you’d be bored, if you won the lottery and stayed home.” My answer: “I said that I’d be writing. Writing is not boring. Writing is life.” Of course, they would retort with, “You only think you’d like to not work outside the home anymore.” My final reply is inevitably, “Give me the $300 million and allow me to prove you right.” They never pay up though.

What I can do is try to set aside some time every evening after work to spend one or two hours writing in quiet. I don’t watch a lot of television so this usually works out for me, except on Wednesday nights, when the gods of television mock me by putting the only two shows I watch (Supernatural and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit) on opposite each other. Why? I cry out to the universe. The universe doesn’t care.

So now that I’ve been home from work sick, I have been indulging my penchant for late-night writing by plugging away on my laptop until two or three in the morning. This is effectively screwing up my sleep patterns for weeks to come but I’ve hit a breakthrough in a pivotal scene in my (for lack of a better explanation) check-lit novel and helped me finally pen the opening pages of the middle grade reader I’ve been musing over for several months now.

My sickness has allowed me to have free license to say, at three in the afternoon, “I’m going to take a nap now” and then to say at one in the morning, “I’m writing because I don’t feel well enough to sleep.” I’m milking it while I can and my writing progress is thankful for it.

No, I don’t know why my creativity blossoms this way, but if I ever find a vampire in my genealogy research, it will make so much sense.

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