Possessed

“In the hour after midnight, a man is more than the madness inherent in the sunless expanse of a night wired with creative storms, lightning strikes neon against a void of light as the writer casts words to page in fevered pace, morning a curse he awaits in sleepless states”

~from humble shadow

Who can relate to this? I think everyone who writes can. Why it is that great ideas come mostly during wee hours? I remember a saying that goes If we can only realize those ideas we have when we cannot sleep, everybody would be rich. Or something like that.

True isn’t it? I am more productive when I’m suffering from insomnia. I might be a walking dead, feeling like swimming in a thick syrup, living in a dream or in the outside looking in or inside looking out but those ideas come pouring in non stop.

Funny thing is, if we don’t record those thoughts while they are fresh, we tend to forget most of them the moment we sleep. We can still recall the concept, the gist of what  it’s all about but not the exact genial arrangement of words. And anyone who writes knows that this is very important: arrangement of words. It affects the whole story and will determine the outcome of the final product.

I’m writing a book at this moment. After too much deliberation and waiting for years, my son finally convinced me to put my ideas on paper. Yesterday I was dead tired and couldn’t really write. Lying in bed, ideas for a crucial conversation between an important character and the leading role came to mind. I knew I had to write it down but I thought I know this scenario, I played it in my head countless times, I device this whole thing, how can I forget it? Wrong! 

Today, trying to write the exact arrangement of words  based on how I remember them prove to be difficult. It just didn’t flow naturally. It felt strained and forced. Like a rehearsed conversation between two bad actors. Too smooth, memorized, it just didn’t feel right.

You might say I learned my lessons by now. I thought so too. But speaking from experience, I know I will have those sleepless nights again full of brilliant ideas I am too lazy to record but will regret not doing so the next day.

How about you? Did you experience something similar?

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8 thoughts on “Possessed”

  1. I keep a notebook around for such occasions. If it’s in my head a certain way then by God it will be put to paper. Lovely article, and yes, it’s true, it happens all the time.

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  2. Great post. I keep my cell next to my bed since inspiration always hits when I close my eyes to sleep. Sometimes I type a little and I am fine. Other times words won’t let me sleep until a post or something else is done. I type what I need to without having to turn on a light and hope I can fall asleep. My best writing comes when I write out of emotion.

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  3. Note-taking while driving is not so smart. Sometimes I’m not so smart. Otherwise, when waking up in the middle of the night and not falling back to sleep, I start to write. Often I’ve thought of nothing to write down, but I allow discovery in the writing. All of which is saying that, yes, I can relate. The second paragraph and its metaphors are so right and so well-drawn. On reading the responses, too, it seems many of us have middle-of-the-night writer’s wake-up syndrome. Shall we make a t-shirt? Thanks for writing with such engagement on the issue and reality!

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