There’s something to be said for silent writing into the dead of night and during the wee hours of the morning.
Aside from the quiet and the cool, it affords the most optimal platform for the fullest formation of our thoughts. Not to mention the voices that are usually drowned out by the hustle and bustle of noises of daylight.
These voices may finally emerge and be heard after competing all day with the demands of life.
I have to admit that being a light sleeper, yet a stickler for the recommended seven-eight hours of sleep you always hear sleep experts talk about, I’m personally against staying up late at night. Because I wake up much too easily, not getting enough hours in bed makes me grouchy for most of the day.
However, the way life keeps intruding into my conscious mind every waking hour, I find it such a chore to sit down and write without distractions.
But since setting aside time early in the morning and late at night to read and write, the sheer discipline of keeping to this regime has helped to open up certain flood gates in my writing journey, including (I hope) a better sense of how to rewrite many parts of my shitty first draft of a book.
Shhh…silent reading & writing in progress
Just to be clear, I’m far far far from having something even remotely resembling a piece of published work. And I’m not so naive as to think that I might even have that wishful eventuality come to pass.
If I even had a shred of hope in that direction, these past months of writing, rewriting and (*insert sheepish look here*) non-writing, have made me realise that the path to authorship is more difficult than many would paint it out to be. All that promise of published fame and fortune? The truth behind the scenes for any struggling writer is one of anguish, hardship and frequent procrastinations.
And perhaps because that is the case, writers are best left alone to do our silent reading and writing. And we’re possibly also at our best when alone!
“In the still of the night, I silent write”
“The first thing that distinguishes a writer is that he is most alive when alone.”
If we subscribe to this, then my sincere apologies to those who hate to be alone; chances are you haven’t got the chops to make it as a writer. (Hey don’t look at me. Go talk to Mr Amis!)
And again if we subscribe to Amis’ assertion, then once more I offer up my apologies to anyone who has had the misfortune to know me. The truth is, you don’t know me at all. Or to be precise, you did not see or experience me when I was ‘most alive’!
Heck even I find myself more alive now when by myself than when I’m with others. More so as I turn another significant decade this year. It’s like I’m free to think whatever I want and write whatever I want. No accusations. No recriminations. It’s like a secret lair I can retreat to where I can be free; I can be me.
I remember a famous scene in one of my all-time favourite movies Dead Poets Society where the protagonists – a group of young men – discover a secret cave on campus where they hasten to in the dead of night to read poems, smoke and drink, and let their wildest imaginations spread wing!
There’s no nearby cave where I live. Nor do I smoke and drink.
But the dead of night? That I do have.
So that’s what I look forward to now. Each night a chance to be most alive.
To sit. To read. To write.
In the deep stillness of the night.
Now if only I can take afternoon naps!