Sometimes, thoughts just come to me.
Doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m supposed to be doing. So, I keep notepads all over the house. There’s one by my easy chair in front of the TV. There’s one in my truck. I even have a waterproof notepad secured to the wall of my shower by suction cups (search “aqua notes” on Amazon).
I’m prepared for my wild, fleeting thoughts, if nothing else.
They are always welcome, these thoughts, but they do sometimes interrupt my sleep.
Last night, I turned in around 1:30 a.m., which is about typical for me. I generally sleep late, then stay up with the night owls reading or writing or whatever the case may be. Old habit, really, since I used to work the second shift putting the newspaper to bed. Plus, I just like to sleep in, so there.
But as soon as I turned out the light, I began to think about the novel I’ve been working on. At first it seemed like a reiteration of something I’d thought of earlier and I just shrugged it off, flipped my pillow, rolled over and tried to go to sleep. But then a second thought came into my head that I hadn’t thought about before, and I was up again in a flash. I turned on the light, seized the notebook and pen I keep handy by my bedside, and began furiously writing down both thoughts. I wound up writing about six pages.
Satisfied that the ideas wouldn’t slip away from me, I turned out the light and drifted happily back to sleep.
And woke up again about thirty minutes later.
Another wild idea that I just had to write down, which I did.
I never try to assess whether the thought is logical or will fit into what I’m working on. I just write it down so that I can look at it fresh in the morning. Even if it’s something I decide won’t fit in the novel, I hold onto it. My creative mind went to the trouble of waking me in the middle of the night with it, so I’m going to keep it. I may not use it in my current project, but it might come in handy later on. You just never know.
I’m now super tired this morning, but at least I can rest assured in the knowledge that I was being productive in my sleep.