With a daytime job, a crazy dog, reading for TLR, and a host of house showings, I do most of my writing at night. It’s the only time the real world calms down enough to allow me the focus needed to keep my novel’s fictional universe, with all its conflicts and characters, in perspective.
Usually, I’m satisfied with what I’ve written during those evening sessions. On occasion, though, I have a few hours to work on my manuscript in the daylight. It’s then that the writing sometimes takes on a different quality. The intent authored by the nighttime mindset doesn’t always come through—sentences seem aimless, character actions inexplicable.
The reverse is also sometimes true. At night, the daytime writer can read as flat and uninspired.
I’ve noticed this is even true when I read works by other writers. The daytime me and the nighttime me interpret things differently. Daytime seems to want to read things literally; nighttime wants inference and emotion.
Can it be that the more rigid structure of the daytime world has conditioned me to think like it does, to seek its logic and conformity? And only when darkness falls are those constraints removed, and I can write fluently, from the gut, the heart, the soul?
Surely, the interruptions of the daytime have a lot to do with that. As evidence, the writing of this little 300-word blog post was interrupted seven times: two Henry needs, three realtor calls, one telemarketer (unanswered, but still…), and then my lunch was ready (my bad). It’s hard to go deeper into one’s writing when you’re constantly distracted.
I suppose there’s a positive that can come out of this divergence. I realize that I should both write at night and edit during the day, and edit what I’ve written during the day after night falls. Once both the day and swing shifts of my writing brain are satisfied, then maybe I’ve got something people might want to read. Does that make sense? It should—I wrote this in the daytime.
I’m curious if other writers encounter this Jekyll-and-Hyde issue in their writing.
 No, no movement yet.