Writing While I Sleep
This post is part of the Sisters in Crime Blog Hop. The best part of the writing process takes place for me while I sleep. Until I wrote fiction, I had no idea how much creative work goes on while the body sleeps. Sometimes I go to bed with a lingering writing problem. Maybe I can’t figure out how to liven up a conversation between two characters. Or I wonder how to transition from the scene I’ve just written to the one that’s coming up. Or I don’t know how to insert a clue so that it’s not too obvious. The next morning I wake up with a solution to the problem.
During the night while my conscious brain was sleeping, my subconscious took over and came up with answers that eluded me the day before. If I don’t have a particular issue that stemmed from the day’s writing, my subconscious tackles a problem I didn’t even know I had, for example, it tells me about a clue I should have inserted fifty pages earlier.
Because sleep is essential to the creative process, I’ve worked hard to conquer my difficulties falling and staying asleep. A consultation with a sleep specialist helped me immensely. In an earlier blog, I shared the tips the sleep doctor gave me. One of those tips is related to this post: Keep a notebook on your night table to jot down any inspirations that come to you in the middle of the night. Knowing that you won’t forget your brilliant idea by morning makes it easier to fall asleep.
Unfortunately, sleeping doesn’t help me get the words on the page, the most challenging part of the writing process. In order to finish a 75,000-word book on deadline, I have to sit at a keyboard and write the number of words I’ve set as a daily goal. Some days I reach my goal by mid-afternoon, other days, not until nine at night.
Writing, like so many other things in life, requires both inspiration and perspiration.
For other blog posts that are part of the Sisters in Crime blog hop, visit Carolyn Mulford's blog. Carolyn tagged me and I tagged Shari Randall. Her blog will appear Monday, September 29 on the Writers Who Kill blog.
9/22/2014 04:15:42 am
Nice post, Maya. I find something similar, that my work on a novel continues when I've turned my attention to farming chores or washing dishes. But I think it's true that ifyou ask your mind a question, often an answer comes. Cheers, Judy
9/23/2014 06:01:10 pm
Neat topic, Maya! I agree about keeping a notebook on the nightstand...and about a daily writing goal. How neat that you find solutions in your sleep. Lucky you!
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This blog, like the books and stories I write, combines mysteries, food, trivia, and a bit of humor to leaven the grim subject of crime. Sometimes random subjects intrude here .