Thursday, December 14

The Advantages of Writing at Night

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Every writer has a preference when it comes to which time of day they write.  Some writers like to write in the morning, when they have the most energy and their minds are unpolluted by the distractions of the day.  Other writers like to sneak in a little bit of writing time throughout the afternoon; it makes their day go by faster and helps to manage the stress of everyday life.  Then there are other writers, like myself, who feel that the best time to write is during the night.

What are the advantages of writing at night?  Logically, there would not appear to be too many.  During the night, we are often worn out and exhausted from our daily activities.  If we live with other people, nighttime writing can be a distraction to them, especially when the writing is done in lonesome post-midnight hours.  On the surface, writing at night seems like an unproductive endeavor.  So why do some of us prefer to do it?

I guess that depends on the type of writing.  While it is easier and more convenient to write factual pieces during the day, when our resources for research are virtually limitless, there is just something about the night that is conducive to creative writing.  Perhaps it’s the mood created by the moonlight streaming through the window, or the ghostly silence of a world asleep.  Maybe it’s because some of us are just insomniacs.  Whatever the reason, there is a magical and mysterious quality about the night that makes creative writing seem more natural.

One advantage of night writing is that there are fewer distractions.  No phone calls to pick up, no doors to answer.  This means that you can dive a little deeper into the waters of writing than you can during the day, when you might run into a distraction at any moment.  Another advantage is that if you write at night, you have an entire day’s worth of experiences freshly imprinted on your mind.  

Ultimately, writing at night or during the day is not about advantages or disadvantages; it’s simply about being in the mood.  It is no different than deciding when to make love, and when you stop to think about it, that is the very essence of writing.  We write not as a bodily function, but as a spiritual and intimate expression of emotion.


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