Evening is the time when I come alive, or was for many years. Lately I have found myself suppressing natural tenancies so I am able to work properly during the day and it is really killing me. Not physically of course, that would be stupid, but intellectually the stimulus that I craved for many years that is brought about by the right time of day is missing and, with it, much of my creative drive.
I don’t know who originally told me this but I was once told that writing happens early in the morning. I think that is probably true. I have often seen writers up at all hours breaking away to social networks in order to comment on the progress of their work at two, three or even four AM. For me the writing process often starts at three in the morning because I have been awake long enough to make some kind of sense of the day and find my inner voice, the narrator’s voice. It’s not even the voice of the writer (which I currently seem to be using). The writer’s voice is the closest approximation I can muster to the voice of God. The narratorial equivalent is not the voice of God but rather the voice of the story which in turn is under the influence of the writer, the deus ex fabula if you will.
However this strange concatenation of literary expression is formed I still have an inability to contact this particular subset of my psyche. I have written a lot over the last couple of months. I have started and finished a novel in that time and contributed to a couple of magazines under various different pseudonyms (my fear of using my own name being bolstered by my flair for the dramatic which is not healthy I suppose). I have forced this voice out in to the world like a premature birth (fixed to the caffeine drip of the incubator) in order to bring in money, all the while taking ten hours a day up with a very stressful full time occupation for which I am being sadly underpaid. As well as that, other creative endeavours come to me, remove my time, wear me out until I am so tired that I am unable to participate in anything; any remnants of talent is ripped from my arms. This makes me incredibly sad. I have had times where I can not breath because of the weight of work and the world that I have to carry. I am sure everyone is the same but where as many will go to the pub or relax with friends I find myself unable to take solace in these simple pleasures because the one thing with which I have always defined myself is no longer there. As if a part of my soul had been ripped away from me I can only exist as a husk of myself until the instincts of an emotional vampire kick in and I try to feed. But I can only eat the simplest of meals. The McDonalds restaurant of television serves up endless soaps and reality shows leaving me with only scraps for sustenance. Inevitably it is not enough and I fret, I moan, I am unable to sleep. It’s then that panic sets in because if I don’t get a full six hours then… maybe I could survive on five hours but… I will be okay with only two hours if I… Just take a nap for an hour I can at least get through the day.
This is the wasteland where my mind sits day after day until at one point I am up at three in the morning and something clicks in to place and it sit and I type. For the briefest of moments the spark reignites and my soul is pulled together. I am a whole person. I can feel again. I will revel in that joy for as long as I am able but I know it is not forever and all too soon the story ends, I finish writing and I can see the dark clouds on the horizon.
I wish I had more three AMs.