Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Bedside Table

When I was a kid, I fell asleep on a dime. The instant the lights were out - so was I. As I got older, I slept less and less. It wasn't until I was in college and I forgot to sleep for three days (and started hallucinating) that I realized I might have become an insomniac somewhere along the way.

I don't suffer from rampant insomnia, just very, very minor. I have a friend who would stay up for a week or more at a time and then crash - and there was nothing he could do about it.

Stress obviously inflames my insomnia. But if I'm not quite tired when I lay down, I have the worst habit.

With my eyes closed, my body relaxed, waiting to drift into sleep under the warm covers, I start to create.

The perfect scene.

The perfect line.

The next bit of the story I'd been stalled on while sitting at my computer all day.

And who wants to get up then? When you're already snuggled into bed and waiting for sleep? And what are the chances you will exactly remember that phrase or scene or word, just as you had it, in the moments before slumber? I'll give you a hint. It starts with "Z" and ends with "ero". For me, anyway. I am most perfectly, unquestionably creative when the last thing I want to do is get up and write it down.

So on my bedside table, I left an empty notebook and a pen. And my booklight...

Just in case.

Last night Andy fell asleep within milliseconds of laying down. And SNORED (sorry, hon, but it's true!) I couldn't fall asleep. But what I could do, was imagine.

Imagine I did!

I couldn't take it anymore, I wasn't sleeping. But then it hit me - I was prepared. I snapped on my bedside light, opened up the notebook and exploded all my thoughts onto the paper, effectively writing the first chapter of a novel I've been hemming and hawing over for the past... three? years.

Turn your weaknesses into strengths, that's what I say :)

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