Saturday, July 17, 2010

Writer's Insomnia

It's 5:49am.

Yesterday I started the final piece of revision for the as-yet-untitled-novella at around 2pm. I finished around 7 or 8, and spent a couple of hours marketing and researching. At around 10:30, I found myself staring at the computer screen, unable to leave my post, but also unable to do anymore work.

I still have more work to do. I need to go back through and drop a few important pieces of information in earlier text. Then I want to read the whole thing in one sitting and do any final edits before showing it to my family for review.

However, sans braincells, staring at my computer wasn't going to help. So I decided to go read and fall asleep. But I had a singleness of focus. Reading Frank Herbert? Boring! I had a newborn story downstairs, kicking and screaming. I read a chapter. Put it down. Stared at the wall. Read another chapter. I wasn't getting sleepy, and no other activity interested me.

Finally at 11:30, I turned out the light and tried to sleep. Stop thinking about this project.

What's the next project? A new story sprung to mind. At 12:30 I tried to sleep. I got a glass of milk. I suppressed the new project (but not after doing a little research on my Evo).

It's the most incessant kind of insomnia. The kind that lets you fall into a light sleep, and then wakes you up again a few minutes later. Each falling, or almost-falling, takes a little bit of sleepiness away, as if there's a fuel required to fall asleep, and you're running out.

At 1-something, or was it 2, Roland came home and crawled into bed with me. He excitedly told me about his night and I fully entered wakefulness. I had to start all over again.

That was what, four hours ago?

Fortunately, I don't get insomnia often. When I do, I always know that once I get emotional, once The Anger sets in, it's simply time to get up. Since the sun is out, and I have to be somewhere at 10am, I suppose I'm Up For The Day.

But I'm not very useful for writing. My contacts are sticking to my eyes and my brain is sluggish. I want to yell at my story: "You see? You've kept me up all night, but how am I supposed to finish you now? Huh? Is this what you wanted??"

There's a certain level of energy writing gives me, and finishing the final scene after a major rewrite is exhilarating. And draining. Exhilarating enough to keep me from sleeping, draining enough to make it seem pointless to continue.

Maybe now is the perfect time to work on the title?

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