I have always been considered to be rather “nocturnal” in my habits, and I suppose this is the case with many musicians. In my case, I didn’t really become nocturnal as the result of being a musician, because it was quite apparent, even as a child, that I simply loved to stay up late at night, and always have had a hard time getting out of bed in the morning!
I suppose this means that I was somehow “custom made” to be a musician in a way, and also to be a creative person who enjoys “burning the midnight oil” for creative ideas. I’ve always somehow found the later times at night to be more of a peaceful time for me to get my work done, not to mention that for me, it’s just a great time to play, practice, and to be inspired for new ideas. On the other hand, I can recall doing many great all-night, or late-night recording sessions back in the early days, but I find that now that I’m older, I prefer to record during normal daytime “work” hours. After all, once you’re in a recording studio, which is usually closed off from the outside, one tends to lose track of the hours that are passing by, and your own internal clock seems to “recalculate” itself towards the time at hand, as opposed to what’s going on in the outside world.
I have always actually loved and embraced working towards a deadline, which has always helped me to focus when it came to really having to “knuckle down” on projects such as books and my own albums. I find that I need that kind of slight time pressure to help me see the “finish line” with any given project I may be doing. Most recording studio situations are the kind that have to be done a little at a time anyway, so as not to end up with “tired ears”, where you basically cannot correctly make decisions when it comes to sound, and you get to a point where you’re simply “too inside” the project to hear it objectively. One needs to be able to “step back” and also take a breather from literally hearing too much and also to just give your ears a rest!
But if you’re working on your own, and really need to compose, practice or just even think creatively, many of you as musicians will have to get used to using the late night hours becoming your best friend. It’s not just a coincidence that many players enjoy this time of night to be creative, and it certainly applies to many art forms as well, whether you’re a writer, a painter or whatever else you enjoy doing creatively!
So, if you’re already a “creature of the night” you’re ahead of the game, but if you have a hard time finding time to yourself as a musician, I certainly suggest that you begin to love “burning the midnight oil!” Best of creative luck to you all!