Writing

The Golden Hour and Other Musings

In the show Archer recently (yes, I know it’s horrible; yes, I watch it), Lana and Mrs Archer tell Sherleen that the “golden hour” isn’t for recording music, but for recording film, because the glowing, ethereal light of the early morning is perfect to capture scenes. Now, while that is indeed true, I must say – I love writing during the golden hour. For example, I’m writing this at 7am.  The light coming through my east-facing apartment window is soft and filtered. The city is quiet. One I am free to write full-time (it’ll happen one day!) this will be my time to write. Especially since my husband isn’t a morning person. I won’t feel bad ditching him to hang out with my computer for a while. I mean, I really shouldn’t feel bad, but I spend all day out of the house. I feel bad if I’m not spending what little free time I have with him.

It’s not unusual to have a designated time of day when you feel most creative. For me, in the wee hours of the morning I love to write, and in the depths of night I love to paint. The number of nights I’ve stayed up until 3 of 4am painting I can’t tell you. The silence and the darkness just bring out something in me.

I think this is partially why I feel my current 8-5 job (that, with commute, is actually 6am-7pm) stifles me. I have no freedom to indulge in my creativity the way I want to. Weekends I do sometimes to be sure, but it’s next to impossible for me to stay up past 11pm nowadays. Husband and I had a date night last night and I fell asleep beside him while I was watching him play a new video game (to my parents: it was a game of the year edition, and therefore cheap, so you can’t be upset with me). I could understand falling asleep watching Fallout or Skyrim, because I’ve watched him play those tons of times, but this game? Not so much. I could barely keep my eyes open past ten, and by eleven I was gone. When he woke me up at 1ish to go to bed, I didn’t even have the energy to brush my teeth, and I’m OCD about my teeth. I have braces. No way I’m letting my parents pay 7K to fix them and then have to get dentures. I’m one of those folks that loves to floss. Seriously, my list of things I’m going to do once I get the braces off?

  1. Floss
  2.  Eat an apple (I am, apparently, Captain Barbosa)
  3. Chew bubble gum
  4. Floss again

The inability to indulge in creativity hurts my soul. My depression has been getting worse of late, and  I have decided that, amongst all the other causes, this is the biggest one. All that turmoil that I used to dispel via creativity is just hanging out in my brain, and it’s driving me nuts.

“But Jacinta!” people say to me, “you have a four-hour commute. Just write then!”

This is true, of course. I do have a four-hour commute, and often I write in my journal while I’m commuting. My writing is really shitty when I do, which I hate, but at least it’s writing. If it’s dead at work sometimes I write, too. Obviously I would rather be working, but if there’s literally nothing to do, then there’s literally nothing to do.

That said, though; I have social anxiety issues, and sound issues. Telling me to be creative while surrounded by noise and people is like telling a gatophobic (fear of cats) to volunteer at an animal shelter, or asking a myrmecophobic (fear of ants) on a picnic. The activities are not directly related, but they’re certainly connected. I may not have to interact with these people directly, but the fact that they’re there, and that I’m surrounded by noise and can’t concentrate for anything is extremely frustrating. The noise in my head gets replaced by the anxiety I experience when in public, and all the thoughts go out the window.

One friend suggested the other reason I’m frustrated is because I’m living to work, not working to live, which is also correct. I spend 13 hours a day out of the house, and have to wake up at 5am to leave by 6, so I’m usually in bed around 9pm. Doesn’t exactly give a girl time to do anything. Not to mention that with my salary we are literally just breaking even every month.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m totally grateful I have this job. The people are super nice, and at least I’m paying our bills.

That said, my creative life is suffering, which in turn means my emotional life is suffering.

My golden hours of creativity are taken up, and even the hours I do have – over the weekend – are stifled by my body’s inability to adapt quickly to changes in sleep pattern. If I force myself to stay up late with coffee and the like Friday and Saturday, I’ll be dead on Monday. Hell, I actually had a “grande” coffee and a pop yesterday (I never drink pop), and it still didn’t help me stay up past eleven.

I would say I’m such an old lady, but old ladies probably stay up later than me.

I’m a little all over the place to be sure, but really, I’m just frustrated by a lot of things. Mostly it’s being unable to take the chance to pursue my dreams. I realize a lot of people have this, and that even more people don’t necessarily have that sureness of what they want to do to begin with, but I also know (from my work with counsellors and the like) that everyone’s issues are different and that we can’t just dismiss our own because someone else’s might be “worse”.

Like I said to my tour guide once, I listen! It’s just hard sometimes to put this knowledge into action.

I’m not sure I really had a point to today. Frankly, I’m not sure I really mind. I write for me. I’ve had an idea for a book, though, and I’m really excited about it. I’ll be working on it periodically, maybe try to set a goal for a finish date, but I’m not sure. I can’t decide if deadlines make me write better or not. So long as I’m writing, I suppose.

Til next time.

xo.

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