Dim the lights, embrace the blissful silence, and allow the rest of the world to fade away. The neighbors are quiet. The traffic outside has run its course until morning, and I can finally hear myself think. I write because I love late nights.
Over the course of my life I have lived in large, crowded cities. I have resided in remote, sparsely-populated villages. I have lived around party monsters and solemn, low-key people. The range of jobs I have held have had me working every hour on the clock at some point or another. The one constant has been a few hours in the middle of the night, where I can always escape. All manner of personal and professional stress falls away, and I am able to find a fleeting sort of peace.
Even though I can write at any time of the day or night, and I do, part of me prefers those late, quiet hours. I will take a nap during the afternoon, or plan to sleep late the next day, to be able to stay up late. I have even gone to bed at a reasonable hour or retired early, so that I can get up in the middle of the night. Anything to spend an hour or two basking in the darkness.
Some of my love of the wee hours has to do with my mental health, yes. Anxiety might wake me up, but the stillness and solitude calm my nerves. A bit of it is physical, when my arthritis flairs and I can’t get comfortable. The heat of the American Southwest, when it was 100 degrees fahrenheit at midnight, messed with me. Some of it is rebellion; I would not be beholden to the business hours the corporate world forced on me. I will use my time in the manner of my choosing.
Writing gives me an excuse to stay up late. Not wanting to spoil the silence and break the enchantment, I actually write. Sometimes I’ll read, but for the most part I put down some word count. No distractions. No mandate. Only me, a blank screen, and my own thoughts.
You can read more about Why I Write here.