Writing

Insomnia on the brain


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I am the worst sort of insomniac. I have been since I was a child. I learned, however, when I was a teen to that worrying when you were trying to fall asleep was very counterproductive. I used to worry about things I had no control over or replay conversations that were rather stressful to begin with. Since I always spent hours trying to fall asleep I was aware this did not help the situation. Instead I decided I needed to think about something that was in no way stressful or connected to reality. I began to think about the storylines of the stories I was working on or playing around with the character dialogues. In effect, daydreaming. I never did understand how people just ‘went to sleep’ and didn’t feel the passage of time over the course of the night. There was no simply ‘going’ to sleep for me. I lacked the skillset it seemed for simply falling asleep. But one cannot put ‘effort’ into it and have it manifest either. I could not try harder and then have that work out for me. In fact, the more frustrated you get with the fact you are not sleeping the less likely you are to get to sleep. So there is just time spent daydreaming until you just actually begin to dream. Which might explain why my dreams are so bizarre and often reflect the books I am writing or reading. Either way, worry is a vast waste of time. Something I still engage in but certainly never while ‘trying’ to fall asleep.

Recently I had just finished plunking away on a chapter and went to bed where I began to think about the chapter as if I had not stopped writing it. I am at the very end of this book and playing around with the way it should end. And the next begin. I was just about to sleep. On the cusp of sleeping and a scene scrolled through my brain that was the perfect way to end this novel. So concise and perfect. The wording flowed like magic through my mind and the setting was ideal. I could have gotten up and written it down frantically but I had spent so much time getting to that fine edge of sleep. So I didn’t. I now remember a fraction of that perfection.

Damn you brain. You clearly mock me.

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