|View from the top of Lombard Street, San Francisco, very late one August night.|
I’m starting to wonder if my most productive time of the day, for writing at least, is in the middle of the night. Insomnia and I are well acquainted. It’s not unusual for me to get up around 12:30 a.m. and go write for an hour or two. This happened last week, when thankfully I didn’t have to work the next day, and a 60-minute writing session produced more than 1,000 words and a pretty good breakthrough in the story. I even went back to re-read the scene in the light of day and didn’t hate it (that’s praise — this is a first draft, so I’m not concerned with quality right now).
But I don’t want to have to schedule a midnight wake-up call to write when I have a full-time job that requires me to be alert by 8 a.m. So, once you’ve identified your most productive time of the day, can you reprogram yourself? Can I train myself to be more productive at, say, 7 p.m. or 6 a.m.?
Or would I want to? I complain about insomnia, but I also love how quiet the house is when I’m the only one awake. I love sitting in a darkened room, next to an open window, tapping away at my laptop and falling completely into my story. Sure, I’m dragging the next morning, but I don’t know that I’d trade that temporary sluggishness for a full night sleep if I have to give up my midnight excursion into my make-believe world.
After all, there’s always coffee.