Ian Drury - Sheil Land Associates Ltd. - 52 Doughty Street - London WC1N 2LS

Friday, 2 April 2010

The Night Shift

I'm working nights.

People often used to ask me, when I was a younger writer, 'Do you find working at night is more creative?' And I'd think, is there a sensible answer to that question?

Writing at night isn't more creative - how can it be, unless the Moon somehow influences us? (I believe the jury's still out on that one). It's just quieter.

How often does the phone ring at night? Or someone knock at the door? How often does a member of the family come home early, or start talking to you, in the middle of the night? How many heavy vehicles suddenly discover that they can't get up the lane in the wee small hours?

You can hardly make a sound yourself. The curtains are drawn (so you can pace up and down the room without looking to the outside world like some institutionalised animal or trainee serial killer), the TV is off (or, at least, the sound's turned right down). Everyone else has buggered off to bed. It's just you, your laptop, and your demons. Oh, and buckets of coffee.

I worked nights all last week and managed to revise my sample chapters. I haven't worked this hard on a project since some scripts I did for the BBC back in the late '90s. I wrote those at night, too.

Of course, you become strangely anti-social, divorced from the day-to-day world and a little too familiar with silence. We went en famille to the CSI exhibition in Birmingham's Bull Ring shopping centre today - a Good Friday treat - and I found walking into a busy city centre shopping mall a little like entering Dante's Inferno.

But hey, I've nearly finished the revisions to the Will's Treason proposal I began almost 2 months ago - phew!!! Getting a bit stressed out by the horrors of modern consumer culture is a small price to pay, innit?

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