I don't consider myself a "professional" writer by any means, but I'd like to think I know a thing or two about putting pen to paper and stringing words together well enough to create a compelling piece of work.
There are many, many questions I'm often asked by people I encounter regularly in regards to writing: Is it difficult for me? Why do I enjoy it and spend so much time doing it? When did my fascination with it start? Would I ever consider doing it for other people? The answer to that last one is no, by the way, so don't bother asking me to write (or "look over") your end-of-the-semester paper for you because I will vehemently turn your lazy ass down every single time.
Above all else, I'm asked what time of day is best for writing. Personally, I'm always writing, so the time of day doesn't matter too much to me and it obviously differs from person to person. But if I absolutely had to choose, I would go with the nighttime without hesitation. Hell, it's past midnight as I type this very sentence, and it isn't uncommon for me to write whole articles at a time before bed when I originally planned on writing a single sentence.
I could write an entire blog post about the importance of sleep and where I stand (and I actually did several years ago, which you can feel free to read here). Long story short, though, it virtually doesn't matter when I go to bed; as long as I'm able to receive my eight hours uninterrupted, I'm perfectly content. That's why I have no problem staying up from time to time if it means not interrupting my flow as a writer and risk ruining it by waiting until the morning.
Here's a semi-relevant small side story. On Friday, April 1, 2016, I had walked back to my dorm room around 10:30 p.m. after spending the evening at a friend's place watching NXT TakeOver: Dallas. My roommate was away for the weekend, and I decided to spend the rare opportunity wisely... by staying up until 5 a.m. (no joke) compiling story after story of events I'd experienced from my childhood through my high school career. I couldn't take that turn off the never-ending Memory Lane! It was only after I realized what time it was (and that I still had so much left to do that weekend ahead of WrestleMania 32) that I called it a night.
I totally understand the opposition to the argument I posed two paragraphs ago: "Dude, I worked all day and my body is killing me. I just want to rest, relax and sleep! Writing doesn't afford me any of those things!" I do admit that writing while sleeping is practically impossible, but who said you can't write while resting and relaxing? For some, it's an arduous process: typing, deleting what they wrote, typing up something new, and then deleting that, too. For others, it can also be an arduous process, but there's simply something satisfying about getting your thoughts down on paper (or a virtual document, I suppose) and emptying your head of them once and for all.
Isn't that what we do as we prepare to fall asleep, anyway? I couldn't tell you how many times I've laid my head down on the pillow and only then does every conceivable thought ever race through my mind and prevent me from drifting into a slumber. There's so many things I want to do or didn't get a chance to do that day! Then again, that could solely be me because I hate being the type of person that has nothing going on or isn't doing something productive at all times.
Regardless of what you're writing about or who you're writing for (it can be yourself), writing is an amazing remedy for scoring sleep.
There's an old saying that nothing good ever happens after midnight, and I could not disagree with that statement more. I have found that you'll conjure up some of your most original ideas ever after midnight (or at least once everybody else is fast asleep). That's because you'll have the house to yourself, as well as your own thoughts and peace of mind. Quiet can be peaceful and eliminate all distractions if you take advantage of it. That's what I am doing as we speak (update from earlier: it is almost 2 a.m. and I'm contemplating wrapping this up tomorrow, so if the rest of this post isn't as strong as everything you've read up to this point, that's why).
If you're tired and sleep deprived, the last thing you'll want to do is sit in front of a computer and type away for a few minutes/hours. I wouldn't recommend it if you have to be up early the next morning or are functioning off minimal sleep, but when that moon comes across the sky and you're left to your own devices, you are at your most alert and your mind is clear! So, what will you be creating tonight?
Whatever it is, it just might be the best thing you've written yet (final update: I decided against going to sleep and instead stayed up to see this article through, so I'm happy to report I took my own advice!).