Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Are you an insomniac writer?

Last night I had one of my rare sleepless nights.  And I admit up front they are rare and last night there was a reason I woke in the middle of the night; some of my family arrived home from a holiday at 2am. 

Now I don't blame them for the sleepless night, though by the end of today I might feel irrational enough to do just that. And one of my friends who does manage on short amounts of sleep laughs at my occasional outings in the night hours.  But having dealt with circumstances which led to a long period of interrupted sleep, I know that I adjusted better to that than an odd night here and there.

If you think I sound self pitying, I stand guilty as charged but I don't want only to have a moan.  I want to consider how the emotions raised by not sleeping can be put to use in writing.

Of course there's the purely practical task of filling the time till you can stop pretending and get up.  I have worked out a routine for that; tea, digestive biscuits, the radio, music only, and a book.  At some point some combination of the elements kicks in and I'm back to sleep.

This morning at five I stopped pretending and got up taking my laptop with me.  Because of the late arrival I knew I couldn't begin to have a normal day for a longer time than usual.  So I started to write.  And as it happens I was about to write a section of a novel that dealt with the frustrations of being in a certain situation.


Everything poured out of me.  Didn't end up in me sleeping again but it gave me a direct link to the feeling in the gut when you'd like to blame someone, can't and for the sake of family harmony daren't. 

I may end up junking the piece on edit but I certainly enjoyed writing it..

1 comment:

  1. I used to have a terrible time sleeping all night long. For the last few months this seems to have vanished and a part of me is grateful but I had also got used to planning to do work in the early hours that I now have to cram into the rest of the day. Health wise it’s better for me, I agree, but I miss it. And I’ve been like that for years and years. This sleeping eight hours in a row takes a lot of getting used to.