In his Wonder Boys, Michael Chabon writes about midnight disease, describing it thusly:
“The midnight disease is a kind of emotional insomnia; at every conscious moment its victim – even if he or she writes at dawn, or in the middle of the afternoon – feels like a person lying in a sweltering bedroom, with the window thrown open, looking up at a sky filled with stars and airplanes, listening to the narrative of a rattling blind, an ambulance, a fly trapped in a Coke bottle, while all around him the neighbors soundly sleep.”
Does this sound familiar? Of course it does. You’re a writer dammit! You live on vampire time.
Or at least I am lately. Insomnia is nothing new. I’m on the fifth night of my latest round of it. It’s not entirely writing-related, but it has got me thinking about when my writing did keep me up late at night, sometimes clear through to the next day when I’d stop to see that the sun was well over the horizon.
I feel like I work best at night. It’s when I’ve got the largest continual chuck of time available to me. On the other hand, there’s the daytime when I’m expected to go out and interact with people. When people see that you’re tired and cranky, well, that makes the experience all the more painful.
I know I’ll have to break the midnight disease eventually. Right now, I’m just trying to figure out how.