Here’s the deal. I’m a night person. I do my best writing in the wee hours. It’s not unusual for me to stay up until the sun rises, then go to bed, and wake up in the late afternoon. I work the freelance night shift. And, hey, my uncle has worked the night shift most of his life – maybe it’s just in the McBee blood.
But for some reason, people assume that if you don’t get up early, you’re lazy. Well, I can assure you that the fact that I do not get up early is completely unrelated to the fact that I’m lazy. If you sleep eight hours, you sleep eight hours, whether it be from eleven to seven or six to two. Today, for example, I got up early (1:00), went to the bank, did a load of laundry, picked up some groceries and am now sitting down to write. I get more done before 2:30 pm than most people do…before 7:30 am.
As a freelancer, I’m fortunate enough to be able to eke out a living on my own schedule. When the studio heads call me (okay, it’s not the studio heads per se, but you get the idea) and ask if I can write them some outstanding lines to help them sell their new summer blockbuster, I say, “Can I write that copy at three in the morning?” And then we laugh and laugh and laugh and schedule a lunch with Johnny Depp.
Okay, it’s not quite that glamorous. If the entertainment industry were a totem pole I’d be the part buried underground. Sure, few people know I’m there…but without me the whole thing falls over. Actually, I’m not quite that important. If the entertainment industry were a totem pole I’d be a guy sitting near the totem pole saying, “Hey, look, there’s a totem pole.” Pretty cool, huh?
But whatever small role I play, I am able to pay my bills with Hollywood money and I am able to sleep until mid-afternoon…which were my two goals in life.
I think what I’m trying to say is – mornings are overrated.
I’ve seen plenty of mornings. They’re bright and make it hard for me to get to sleep. I’ve even had jobs in my life where I had to wake up in the morning and I don’t see what all the fuss is about. Mornings are like snow – romanticized and seemingly full of potential, until you find yourself in the middle of them, and you just want to crawl back under your warm blankets.
I mean, come on, we need an alarm clock to get up in the morning. How unnatural. An alarm clock. I don’t need a false alarm to wake up in the afternoon. I don’t need a pulsating siren to eject me from my slumber. I waken after rolling over twenty-three times and finally realizing that I cannot possibly sleep any longer. Just like nature intended.
And mornings are so annoyingly insistent. Prodding you to get up. Reminding you of where you need to be and what you need to do. Night is so much more laid back. It’s cool. Doesn’t nag. No need to rush around and do anything. If you’re productive during the night, that’s just a bonus, baby.
There’s also the homophone argument. Morning sounds like mourning. Night sounds like knight. Mourning is sad. Knights are cool. Case closed.
So, how am I going to do it? How will I defeat mornings? Well, that’s a tricky one, because in order to battle them, I’ll have to confront them on their turf and I’m never up that early. Plus, I need mornings, otherwise when would I rest? Hmmm, counfounding. I suppose the best solution here is a treaty. I won’t mess with mornings if they don’t mess with me.
The early bird may catch the worm…but this night owl knows that worms taste like crap and mornings suck. So you won’t see M.M. until the pm.