Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Nocturnal Muse Visits

I get my best ideas when I'm lying in bed trying to sleep. Somehow my brain, which has probably been too occupied throughout the day, switches over to its creative side. My mind wanders through an endless stream of possibilities. "What would happen if this occurred instead of that?" and "What if we tried to do things another way?"

This nighttime thing has been happening for a while now. It's a little bit irritating, especially since I've learned that if I don't write these ideas down, they're gone by morning. I'm sure my husband finds the whole process a little irritating, too. (More often than not, I accidentally wake him up as I leave or come back to bed.) Still, we have to do what must be done. Right?

We've both learned to accept these nighttime journeys to the office. Neither one of us wants me to lose a potentially awesome story idea because getting up is too much of a pain. So we lose a little sleep. What's lost sleep compared with a lost idea? We can sleep when we're dead.

Anyway, I've learned to use this time of night to unclog. As you all probably know by now, I've been having the squirms when it comes to the middle of Blink. Well, night before last, I lay down and let my mind wander over the possible ways to fix the section, and voila! A wonderful idea popped into my head (along with an idea for another book, but that's neither here nor there) and I got right up to write it down. Because of this, I sat down yesterday and got almost 1500 words out! Yay.

So, what kinds of things help you to unclog? Does your brain bother you when you're trying to fall asleep or is it just me? Any hints or tips for keeping the peace with regards to waking up the spouse just so you can write down an idea that may or may not be any good in the clear light of day?

3 comments:

Edie said...

Beth, the same thing happens to me. The night before last, I had a scene that needed work. I knew I couldn't get to it that night, that my brain was too tired to do it justice. So I printed out the scene pages and was going to read them before I went to bed and sleep on it. But as soon as I started reading it, a couple paragraphs in, it became clear to me how to fix it. I scribbled like crazy in the margins, and the next day I revised. And the solution was so easy. I love it when that happens!

Other ways are when I'm walking, driving or taking a shower. My theory is that when we mute our conscious mind we can finally hear our subconscious mind.

Travis Erwin said...

I too suffer from the bed time muse visits, but long hot showers help me sort through writing woes as do roadtrips in the car all by myself.

By the way I recieved the book yesterday, thanks.

JenWriter said...

This happens to me all the time, and I've also noticed that if I don't write the idea down, it's way way gone in the morning. So, instead of getting up every time something pops into my head, I keep a moleskin next to my bed to jot down any ideas in the dead of night.