After much trial and a great deal of error, I have reached the conclusion that when it comes to difficult bits of prose, I write best while in extremis. After several days of busy planning, reading, outlining through the sunny hours of the morning and afternoon, it is not until night begins to break out in earnest that I can bend myself to my task.
I suppose this should come as no surprise, as most of my creative stuff has been written between the hours of 6pm and midnight*. The phenomenon isn’t exactly procrastination, as it’s not due tomorrow, though the deadline is sooner than I would prefer (it always is).
I am a little curious, though, as to what kinds of extremity will incur such useful frenzy. Coffee? Excessive exercise? The flu?
I notice that feverish activity, peppered by liberal non sequiturial asides which no one may hear and much exasperated rifling through reference material, produces the mental state that seems willing to power through a draft without taking more care than is needed for matters of organization and le mot juste. That same overzealous care, I suspect, is what cripples me during my more placid daytime endeavors. It appears to be true what they say; genius (until properly trained by care and habit) burns. In other words, I am a perfectionist, and it continues to get in my way until overcome with fatigue, time-crunch necessity, and/or massive quantities of coffee (which I refuse to consume at night, because I do enjoy sleeping eventually. Except, apparently, during finals).
*I was a student, so I had the opportunity to write almost any time I wanted; this wasn’t an after-work situation in which I was forced to write only after 6.
Edit: This entire post was dashed out, sans title, in about eight minutes, using the same document I’m using to work on my proposal. When I got to the end, I discovered it neatly nestled under the header, “Methodology”.