Monday, October 22, 2012

Writer's Insomnia

Last night I woke at three-thirty and could not go back to sleep. My body was tired and comfortably snuggled in the covers, unlike some sleepless nights when I toss and turn like a washing machine. But my mind wouldn't turn off. Sometimes those three-o'clock-in-the-morning thoughts are pretty dark, and to distract myself from the dark side, I often think about what I'm writing. I can deal with the dark side better in the light of day. Last night, I roughed out a pretty good plot for a new novel--the first Blue Plate Mystery will debut in February--new settings, new characteers (no, I'm not abandoning Kelly O'Connell). But unexpectedly last night I found myself thinking about the second Blue Plate book. Mind you, I'm knee deep in writing the fourth Kelly O'Connell Mystery and that's where my mind might better have been, but there I was in Wheeler, Texas, sending Kate Chambers pellmell into a new advenutre. Actually I was pretty pleased with it, but I still could not turn my mind off.
All this has an upside and a downside--I emerged from that sleeplessness with a pretty good start on a plot for the next book I'll begin. The downside was by five-thirty I gave up all thought of sleep, knowing it wouldn't come. By six-thirty I was up and getting ready for the day--six-thirty? I wanted to shout, "What am I doing up so early." But I was to be out the door at nine, had to greet Jacob at 7:55 on his way to school and had to get my house running for the day. But I also knew that I had to write down the notes from my doze-induced plotting. And I did. It worked out pretty well on paper, as opposed to some schemes that I come up with during a long night.
The late Dorothy Johsnon, an award-winning author, wrote to me that if her muse was speaking to her, the writing flowed. But if the muse wasn't talking, she might as well give it up for the day. I'm a firm believer in that, and I always welcome the muse. But why does she speak at three-thirty in the morning? 


LD Masterson said...

As I was awake trying to comfort a terrified dog during a thunderstorm at 3:30, I tried to use the time to do some mental writing. I got nothing. Now I understand. The muse was over at your place.

Judy Alter said...


NDEA B said...

I totally agree why must the muse come when I am trying to sleep but I guess in a way that can be a good thing.

NDEA B said...

I agree why must the muse come while I am trying to sleep but I guess that could be a good thing.