I Have Forgot The Sun (a pre-solstice project)

In Others
November 12, 2009

I am not a morning person.

Some people leap out of bed first thing in the morning, rejuvenated and ready to start the day. I am not one of them.

When I wake up, my brain is mushy. It’s not even that I need coffee or want breakfast – I don’t even get hungry until a good two hours after I wake up. (In fact, exactly two hours. Some perfectly-accurate internal clock takes care of this.) After I get up, I can basically read – which is what I tend to do, for preference.

My evenings are great, though. I often get a burst of creative energy around midnight (look at the timestamp on this post) and I’ve been known to stay up writing until 3 or 4am. I also often find I have a sentence floating through my head just as I’m on the verge of sleep. If I make myself write it down, it usually proves quite good – weird, but good. Unlike the ideas I wake up with in the morning, which tend to be more like ‘hmm… how about some kind of *love story*!’

Left entirely to my own devices, I tend to gravitate towards a pattern where I’m going to sleep between 1.30am and 2am and getting up between 9.30am and 10am. I am pretty embarrassed to admit this, actually. I feel like people with real jobs will despise me and think I am lazy, even though I get good work done between midnight and 2am! Such is the early-morning prejudice of our culture.

Anyway, in general this pattern doesn’t bother me. As long as I’m still working, I figure it’s less important exactly when I do it. It only comes to be a problem… well, now, really.

These are – at least in terms of the calendar rather than life events – my worst weeks of the year. Between the hour change and the winter solstice, I think my whole body becomes slowly convinced that the world is dying, that the wolf Fenrir is devouring the sun and that Ragnarok is coming upon us. It’s not exactly depression, but a kind of bleak melancholy. Weirdly, it turns as soon as it starts to get lighter again on December 21st, even if only by a few seconds a day, so I never worry about it too much – I know it’ll disappear (and I have a light box, which helps a lot).

However, this year, the clang of my internal Winter Gong made me think… hmmm, perhaps I could do a little project! Since I enjoyed the August one so much. This project is called:

Naomi Alderman Is A Morning Person
(Yes she is. She is. Yes.)

I’m not really a morning person, but I’m going to pretend I am, for five weeks, starting on Monday 16 November (although I might practice some over the weekend).

What this entails:

  1. Getting up every morning no later than 8am and posting a message on the Twitter account I have specially set up for the purpose. I don’t really expect anyone to follow this account (although you’re welcome to), but I thought it’d be good to have a record somewhere with a timestamp, and this blog would get pretty boring if I posted ‘awake!’ on it every morning.
  2. Leaving the house while it is still morning and going somewhere. ‘While it is still morning’ = before midday, and I may cut that fine, and not feel ashamed. The somewhere I go doesn’t have to be a new somewhere – although I’m sure some of them will be. Just somewhere that is not the warm cosy nest of my home which I can so easily stay in all day until it is dark
  3. Writing something here about the place I went to. Or, if it has wifi, from the place I went to!

The exceptions:

  1. Saturdays are excluded. Because, you know, Sabbath. Also I refuse to give up my lazy Saturday mornings in bed with the paper.
  2. I might fail. You know. Failure is ALWAYS an option, especially when it comes to blog challenges. There will be no apologies, although there might be explanations. I hate when people’s blogs become full of their apologies for not blogging/not doing what they said. Never apologise.
  3. This project ends on 21 December, when the sun begins to return. I mean, it will return, won’t it? Won’t it?

And on that note, time for bed! Must stop thinking of 12.30am as the ideal time to start a new short story/talk outline/blog post. At least for the next five weeks, then I’ll be happily back to my old ways.

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