I’ve never been afraid of the nighttime, darkness closing in. Rather, it’s been a time of security and creativity as well as abandonment by the persnickety writing censor who lurks during the daylight as if working a nine-to-five shift, insisting that I must only write the safe, the easy, the careful (but never the good, the bad, the ugly).
The summer’s night brings nature’s evensong, the tremulous last calls of the robins as darkness descends, cicadas and katydids, owls and Eastern whippoorwills; the latter you will only hear if you’re very lucky, but once heard remains with you like a reverent chorus. I’ve reveled in this song because it claims chords I feel are my own.
I cherish the title of night owl. I used to feel somewhat miffed because there was a set of people who, everyday, were awake for the sunrise or found the energy to jog at 6 am or pursued any of the early morning activities I seemed to only accomplish once before my body said: that was a really nice morning, but let’s sleep in tomorrow. However, I recently read a study that said night owls tend to be more creative thinkers and perhaps even more intelligent, so now, regardless of whether the study will be disproved down the line, I relish being a night owl.
Perhaps I now brawl with my persnickety censor because I blink and months pass, forming years. The word “jettison” springs to mind. These days we fight often because I want to write uncensored all of the time. I want to express myself without fear, regardless of whether the sun is shining or not. My censor sometimes wins these battles, usually without my knowledge, because playing it safe is ingrained for protection. He says to me: “What if you write something and someone doesn’t like it? What if they mock you? What if they harass you? What if they don’t click the ‘like’ button? What if? What if? What if?”
I want to be a writer who isn’t afraid . . .
When I am fully aware, I can counter his questions. When I am not, he subliminally rules and subjugates my ideas until they are deemed, in his eyes, harmless. Despite my intentions, I fall into being careful, writing carefully. This is no longer who I want to be. I want to be a writer who isn’t afraid, who can put herself, true self, on display, vulnerabilities, insecurities, securities, mistakes, acceptance, no facades. If I persevere, I will own the daylight as well as the darkness.
For joviality? That last bit me-dears, just makes me sound like a writing vampire in transition.