Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Day Typer

I am a creature of the morning. I realized this quite some years ago, especially when I had to compose papers for college. If I sat down in front of the computer first thing after breakfast, I could breezily churn out an A-worthy achievement within the space of a half-hour; if I made the same attempt at 6 at night, I would struggle for hours, with only sub-par results before I gave up and went to bed. 

I was reading Merrill Markoe's triumph over pushing off writing ("How I Stopped Procrastinating"), but I gleaned a different conclusion than she did. 
Things seemed pretty bleak until I accidentally stumbled upon something astonishing: I learned how not to hate writing. In this new and more difficult morning paradigm, I found myself wide-awake at 6 a.m. with no paper, no coffee and no scheduled distractions. I am unable to tolerate anchor people smiling and talking at the same time, so morning television was out. I was left so desperate for an activity that I decided to pursue a little writing.
I had a vague idea for a play that I had tried to begin many times at 3 in the afternoon. Each time my efforts were thwarted by the tyrannical voices in my head, which grew louder as the hour grew later, berating me for not taking care of bills, cleaning, shopping, grooming, pet care, more bills, more grooming. And if I got caught up on those things, the voices would quickly remind me that I was too ill informed to begin writing even a personal anecdote without undertaking years of painstaking research. A constant feeding of this negativity cyclone would put me in such a state of anxiety that I’d start reflexively checking Internet headlines in search of an environmental catastrophe or a massacre of some kind to help me refocus my anguish.
 . . . back to my revelation: When I tried writing at 6 a.m., to my complete surprise I effortlessly wrote 15 pages that first day. The same thing happened when I did it the next day and the day after that. And so it came to pass that in the six weeks before my surgery and in the weeks that followed, I actually enjoyed writing a first draft of my play.
She goes into a whole discourse about the left versus right brains, but I think it is something more simple than that. Merrill, you are a morning person.

It is nothing to be ashamed of. Some of us are just not meant to follow the whole "nocturnal Jo March" method. 
Artists and writers are mysterious and deep, and the only time for the mysterious and deep to create is in the mysterious and deep night. 

Pshaw, I say. 

My best work flows out of me in the a.m. because I awaken refreshed and clear-headed, while I hear that night people may murder any unsuspecting soul that crosses their path prior to coffee. 

I have teenage cousins who haunt the dark house at night simply because they believe that is what teenagers must do, whereas a percentage must be, at least with regard to genetics, those who prefer rising with the rosy dawn. 

I am my most efficient before noon; after that it is pretty much downhill, so I plan accordingly. I don't even bother to attempt to write posts in the evenings, unless it is some tale that grips for dear life on my imagination and I would obsess on the phrasing if I did not type it up. 

Knowing thyself is the secret to success. 


Mighty Garnel Ironheart said...

The problem comes in the winter when it's dark until 7:30 am. In the summer I have no problem getting up earlier but when it's cold and dark outside it seems just so wrong.

Princess Lea said...

Oh, I have no problems there either. For me, morning is morning. And night is night.