Writers Sleepless Nights

The Empty Bed

The writer's bed at night.
The writer's bed at night. | Source

Sleepless Nights - for Everyone?

I never thought I would need a disclaimer. If you've read the things I write you would agree, however, (is there always a however or but) I think I need one now.

Not every writer has sleepless nights. Not every night is a sleepless night for all writers. However, (there it is again) there are many sleepless nights for writers. These are not of a writer's choosing in most instances but they do happen and they are annoying.

Being a Writer

A writer's mind is always working. It really isn't a conscious choice, its just a part of the trade. If you aren't a writer you may have trouble understanding but if you are a writer you'll know exactly what I mean.

For example, an ordinary person takes a walk and looks at all the beautiful things they see and just continues to walk. A writer on the other hand has a mind kind of like a steel trap and everything he sees is a potential subject to write about. That little spider you hardly even notice could be an article about air breathing anthropods or maybe tarantulas like the goliath birdeater tarantula. Then there's always the web, I mean of course the spider's web. How their beautiful webs all begin with a single thread and end up an intricate web that traps food. Oh, you've finished your walk already and we're still looking at the spider web!

The writer may not be the best conversationalist but he knows how to put pen to paper and express himself. He expresses himself so well that after reading his work you will often be in awe of what you've read. The writer never stops. I mean he writes over and over again, its in his blood.

Writers don't just write books, though if you've ever read one you know how good it can be. They write poetry and prose. They write essays and yes, they write movies and TV shows. Have you ever watched a TV show and thought, "where in the world do they come up with this stuff?" The answer of course is in the writer's mind.

Now I can't really talk to the professional writer who's writing all those wonderful things I just mentioned. I'm talking about the struggling writer who may or may not be famous one day. The writer who just feels he has to write no matter what it is. So how do sleepless nights enter the picture?

Sleepless Nights

Sleepless nights are known as insomnia. Experts say that sleep problems, like sleeplessness, can be avoided by recognizing what's keeping you awake. They suggest not overeating before you go to bed, or not drinking too much coffee. Stress and relationship problems can cause sleep problems. According to health.usnews.com, "Scientists think of the brain as having two competing systems that govern wakefulness, says Ralph Downey III, chief of sleep medicine at the Loma Linda University Medical Center in California. One vies to keep you awake, and the other beckons you to sleep."

It is estimated that over 100 million people a year suffer from sleeplessness. Now, I know they're not all writers, but I have a feeling quite a few of them are.

Unfortunately or fortunately depending on how you look at it, the writer knows what's keeping him awake. He knows the part of his brain that is vying for him to stay awake. It's not depression or cold sweats, its not his age, its not a lot of things. What it IS is writing. He lies in bed ready to sleep and all of a sudden he thinks of that great story he wants to write.

Are You Sleepless or a Night Writer?

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There's a giant of a man talking to a little girl, hmm, I could weave that into a tale of horror or a touching story about the love between the two. He thinks, "I'll write that down", then, no if I turn the light on I'll never get to sleep, I'll just remember it. Then all of a sudden he remember something that happened today that would make a great short story. He could flesh it out in no time and make it great. He looks at the clock. He went to bed at 11:00 p.m. and now its midnight. Not too bad. He can get to sleep soon.

Then he thinks about that old gent down the street and how his children are trying to take care of him. That would be a great piece about aging and senior care. He's really a happy guy and so pleasant, the writer thinks he might even be able to interview him or his relatives. They are a friendly family and what they are going through is happening everywhere. He could gather statistics about ageing and what portion of the population is ageing now. Wait, he thinks, I'm supposed to be going to sleep so I can do this in the morning. Okay, I'll get up and write a few things down so I don't forget. Of course the pad and pen have disappeared so now he has to get out of bed to get it. After finding the pad and pen he writes down all the thoughts he's had so far and heads back to bed.

Satisfied now he looks at the clock and its 1:00 a.m. Okay, I'll say my prayers and off to sleep I go. But wait, prayer in the world today. What has happened to religion? How many people still go to church, do they keep God in their every day life? He could write a piece about religion in America versus religion in other countries. Then, there's always Islam. Lots to write about that and people would be interested. After all, Islam is in the news everyday. Or he could turn it into a piece about terrorism.

Hold it. This is night time, he's in bed, and he's supposed to be sleeping. Do you see the pattern here? A writer's mind is a blank slate and when the chalk starts to move the writer is thinking. Its really unstoppable no matter what time of day or night inspiration strikes. By the way its 2:00 a.m. and our writer friend still has not gone to sleep.

Quotes from Famous Writers - Food for Thought

"I write for the same reason I breathe -- because if I didn't, I would die." Isaac Asimov

"Nighttime is really the best time to work. All the ideas are there to be yours because everyone else is asleep." Catherine O'Hara

"At night, when the objective world has slunk back into its cavern and left dreamers to their own, there come inspirations and capabilities impossible at any less magical and quiet hour. No one knows whether or not he is a writer unless he has tried writing at night." H. P. Lovecraft

“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.” Saul Bellow

“Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” Anton Chekhov

"It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way." Ernest Hemingway

"It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous." Robert Benchley

Stephen King and the Short Story

On the Other Hand

On the other hand, many great writers say they did their best writing at night! Hmm, a Catch 22?

Nicholas Sparks says he writes all hours of the day and night. Jack Kerouac said he wrote by candle light mostly at night, midnight to dawn. Susan Sontag said when she writes she forgets everything else; she forgets to eat and forgets to sleep. Just a sampling.

So what are we to take from all of this? Do writers have sleepless nights? Most definitely. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? That my friend depends on the writer and the writer's circumstances. There are no rules to being a writer, oh there are rules on how to write but not on being a writer. Its what's in your head that counts. Only you can control your writing. You can write to tell a story or to explain yourself, you write to write.

So, whether your nights are sleepless or the time you do your best writing, keep writing.

STEPHEN KING: "You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or even despair, the sense that you can never completely put on the page what’s in your mind and heart. You can come to the act with your fists clenched and your eyes narrowed, ready to kick ass and take down names. You can come to it because you want a girl to marry you or because you want to change the world. Come to it any way but lightly. Let me say it again: you must not come lightly to the blank page."

Thank you for reading my meandering hub. If it eases your mind, it was written because of a sleepless night last night. All of your comments are welcome and I look forward to reading them.

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Resserved

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71 comments

Jools99 profile image

Jools99 3 years ago from North-East UK

Mary, very interesting hub. I s'pose you've got to go with the flow when you get inspired but it isn't always easy with others in your house is it? My hubby would be giving me dirty looks if I wrote in bed (I don't!) and he's such a light sleeper that I would invariably wake him up if I came to bed at say 4am. Luckily, I am not a night bird :o) I find writing fiction very addictive though when it's going well - you just want to keep writing. Non fiction, I can just stop any place and pick it up later, phew!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

I agree completely that a writer's mind is always working. However (ha ha, I had to use it) I sleep like a baby. I get seven hours of sleep and my mind has been trained to do that. I wake up and ideas are flowing out of me so fast that sometimes I can't get them all written down before I forget them.

I am such a boring, structured person. I have established such a routine that even my mind and body know when to wake up and went to go asleep according to the routine I have established.

Interesting thoughts, Mary. It's always nice to know what the majority out there are doing. :)

Have a great week!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

You have the writers mind down packed Til.. a simple following a routine that'll keep you entering REM sleep.. the Stephen King note was refreshing and thank you for allowing us to follow this path...:)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Jools, I have an addictive personality and once I start something I can't stop. Lucky for your hubby you do so well with controlling yourself ;)

Ah Bill, it comes as no surprise that you are disciplined! With the amount of writing you do you would have to be or you'd be screaming like a baby wanting to eat rather than sleeping like one! Thanks my friend.

Frank, I follow many paths, trying to find the right one is the hardest. Thanks for the nice compliment. Glad you liked the King clip, I just love that guy!


hawaiianodysseus profile image

hawaiianodysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

When I write, I AM BATMAN! When I don't, I'm a nerdy guy who's easily lost in a crowd. I am more sociable through my writing; in real life, I'm super shy. At a yard sale, I come across like I'm apologetic about going through someone's personal stuff (I especially cringe when they sit there watching me).

That said, I understand perfectly where you're coming from. Beginning today, and it's because of something HP triggered in me recently, I am going to first take care of the things that I need to be responsible for--my spiritual sustenance, my family, my eBay work, and my walking--and then treat my writing like the dessert that follows a great entree. In June, I was forsaking everything else to get the Challenge done. And almost like an omen, HP sent me a very unfair warning about duplicating content that was really mine and had been stolen by some stranger. Pissed me off! But it's all good because it taught me a very valuable lesson...take care of the foundation, and the cosmetic stuff will follow comfortably and naturally. Attempt the cosmetic, and the foundation will fall.

What does any of this feedback have to do with your hub? Probably nothing...and yet everything. I'm sharing with you some of the things that I wrestle with at night when I should be sleeping.

This hub was not meandering at all. It was spot-on, the mark of a writer who is adeptly capable of putting into words what most of us writers experience.

Truthfully, it may be what works for some of us. But I honestly want to get a good 7 hours like billybuc does and wake up energized to tackle my day. The unusual way I'm doing it is by exerting myself in long walks and an occasional jog. It's a good spark plug, but it ends up with me burning the candle from both ends, and that's NOT good.

It's my earnest prayer that by writing this, you will find greater peace and restful nights. I connect with you solidly, Mary. Thanks for sharing.

Joe


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Don't let the 'warnings' get you down my friend. I have had several of them and to this day don't know why! My Monsters Inc. hub was labled as duplicate content and after I wrote inquiring they removed the ban but I never found out the why. Your writing is superlative and just so much fun to read. Please don't deprive us!!

As for sleeping, some nights I'm okay, others ideas go 'round and 'round in my head till I'm ready to scream. Obviously this hub was one of them ;)

We connect on many levels my friend. My prayer is for many more years of friendship!


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

'There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.' - Ernest Hemingway. Obviously, Ernest wrote this B.C. - Before Computers. But for many writers, the task is much less painful. Loss of sleep though is one of the hazards. Sorry for your sleepless night, Mary. Rx - take a sleeping pill but don't call me in the morning.


DrMark1961 profile image

DrMark1961 3 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

I found that Stephen King quote and video especially interesting, as he is one of those people who can just sit down and write all morning. How does he do that without staying up all night thinking? (Maybe he just picks up his great ideas walking and looking at spider webs!)

Very interesting, thanks


wetnosedogs profile image

wetnosedogs 3 years ago from Alabama

For a sleepless night, You wrote a great hub.

My sleepless nights, I like to take the dogs in the back yard and we see awesome things we wouldn't see during the day. That takes care of the writing too.

Hopefully you will have sweet dreams tonight.


bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Mary. Very interesting and right on the money. Whenever I go anywhere now I am thinking about my visit in terms of writing a travel hub. I even carry a cheat sheet around with me so when I come across a new idea I jot it down. Most of my writing gets down early in the morning so while it may not keep me up at nights it gets me up early. Great job. Voted up, shared, etc.....


Kathryn Stratford profile image

Kathryn Stratford 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

Mary,

This is a great article! I like the way you meandered along in this hub, and the quotes you provided.

Sometimes I have trouble sleeping, and sometimes I don't. But my mind is always running, and inspiration often strikes me as I am getting read to go to sleep! Fortunately, I tend to remember in the morning, and I write it down. Sometimes "sleeping on my inspiration" even helps! I have interesting dreams, that's for sure.

Thank you for sharing this with us, and have a wonderful day!

Voted up and sharing.

~ Kathryn


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

What a wonderful take on writers and sleepless nights. Truly, a writer is not time bound. His mind is ticking 24 hours of the day. You have brought out all that goes in the mind of a writer very well.

Voted up and interesting.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Do you remember the show "Inside Herman's Head?", Mary...?

You have the makings of quite a series right here and I will be your biggest fan. Voted UP and all that...! Love, Maria


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Tillie.....You are such a really really great writer.....as in ....YOU are a writer, through and through....from head to toe.....I think your blood is really ink. LOL Sounds like you think, eat, drink, breathe & walk, "Writing!" You are the kind of writer (and person) I believe should be famous and making a boat load of money from your work. and maybe one day soon, you will be!

GF....as much as I Love to write, stories, poems, letters, articles.......I also love my sleep. The truth is, never in my entire %# years (those darn number keys!)....have I ever suffered from any sort of sleep issue. Never. My mother always said she checked on me every night of my life, until I married and left home, because she was always sure I was DEAD! LOL....It's true. I go to bed when my body tells me to (if possible)...fall asleep within 10 minutes....do not awaken during the night....and usually sleep 7 to 8 hours, if I awaken naturally.....BUT I have "Psycho dog," who insists I get up at 4 or 5 a.m. Sorry, Til....no sleepless nights for me. Stress, anxiety, problems? I hate to say this, but something in my brain, shuts all of that OFF, when I lay my head down. People would probably pay a lot of money to find out how that's done. Too bad I don't know.

I think about writing in many ways at different times......nothing has been inspiring me lately. Obviously. I have faith that one day, ideas will come flowing out of my blocked brain, so quickly, I won't be able to write them down as quickly as I think of them. Until that happens, it's 10:20 p.m. girlfriend. Night night..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzUP++++


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

That photo looks familiar!!! LOL Yes, I am a night writer and always have things going on in my head that I need to write down before I forget.

It is now 1:36 a.m. and I have to get up at 5:15 a.m. to go to my day job in the city. Sigh . . . It's tough, but it is in us and it must come out!

Superb hub here dearest Mary (Till)!

Voted up +++++ and sharing

God bless, Faith Reaper


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

Thank you for this insight. Writing is all that I can do. I try to put out as much as I can before... well.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and interesting. Mary this was inspirational. I remember what my dad once said. Being a poet and writer himself he said you have to keep a notepad and pen beside your bed. That way when inspiration strikes you can jot down your thoughts right away. Dad would've love the PC generation. Now he would just get up and head for the PC when inspiration came. I'm known to put in long hours on the PC not even realizing that I wrote right into the new day. Passing this on.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Drbj, I 'll call you in the afternoon ;) Thankfully not every night is sleepless!

Thanks Dr. Mark...I love Stephen King for his quirkiness and his great books. Glad you enjoyed my hub. Gotta love those spider webs!

WND sounds like you have a handle on things....always good to have the wet noses for company too.

Thanks for the votes and shares, etc. Bill. Writing is everywhere no matter what you are writing about. Sometimes it really jumps out at you, other times its like pulling teeth ;)

Thanks Kathryn....it really is a see saw effect. Some nights easier than others. I know I am not alone but it is always good to hear other's experiences.

Thank you Rajan, I guess sometimes we just have to write what is rumbling around in our head!

Maria, sometimes what rumbles around in Mary's head is a very scary thing ;). Yes, I remember the show...so nice to know I have a built in follower my friend. Hope your weekend was great btw.

Oh Effer, you tell me what a good writer I am then write comments that are better than my hubs!

I used to be just like you, on weekends though I would stay up till the wee hours watching movies then sleep till 4:00 p.m. The next day.

Now we have to work on finding out how you sleep so well so we can make some money ( Notice I didn't say at your age.)

Your muse will return with a vengeance some day soon;)

Oh dear Faith, don't burn the candle at both ends...when you get to be my age you won't be ABLE to sleep. Thankfully it isn't every night.

Thank you my friend for the votes and share.

And you do it so well Mhatter, whenever it is you do it! Careful, we are discussing writing here ;)

Thanks Gypsy. Your father was a wise man. Your inspiration leads you to beautiful places, just don't forget to sleep my friend.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Mary, I know exactly what you mean. I tell hubby that when I write, I sometimes go into this “zone.” I forget to eat, sleep, and everything else in between. Stephen King once wrote in – I think it was ‘Bag of Bones’ -- that as a writer his character went “into a trance.” We look at things differently as well. You have captured our world so perfectly, Mary.


cleaner3 profile image

cleaner3 3 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

great hub ,,Mary , to be able to write down your meanderings into complete thoughts are hard much less make them into stories.. it comes to some of us but not all. I like the way you write.

Michael


wayne barrett profile image

wayne barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

I considered waiting until tonight to comment... :-)

Saul Bellows quote is one of my favorites because I have found myself reaching for my journal in the middle of the night and penning a poem or short story that just seemed to flow with no effort. I do get my full night sleep about half the time, but I do keep my trusty NotePad close at hand for those moments when the lids pop open.


Gina145 profile image

Gina145 3 years ago from South Africa

I know the feeling well. I'm a night owl at the best of times, but this seems to happen to me when it is most important that I get to sleep early.


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Writers often have something to talk or write about, and sleepless nights can get ones mind over worked up


Suzie HQ profile image

Suzie HQ 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

Hi Mary,

Spot on the money here, writer's minds are constantly buzzing and one idea quite often leads to another. I have definitely had sleepless nights be it mind racing, the enthusiasm to keep going with the flow has often blocked out tiredness it seems. I do love sleep but have found I need less as I have gotten older, right or wrong I don't know, but I do TRY to get sufficient sleep! I am good at rising early and straight into the writing usually, just always thinking of new things and making notes, my mind never rests.

Thanks for another well written piece inspired from your own experience!

Up ++++++ shared.


younghopes profile image

younghopes 3 years ago from India

i have spent many a sleepless nights thinking about what i am supposed to write for a magazine or a newspaper when i was in my college, however this trend continues even today when i simply think at bedtime what should be my next hub all about? Will it bring traffic? etc etc...You have touched these aspects beautifully, voted up and shared too


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thanks Genna. Now, if I can only convince my husband this is normal for a writer, I'll be okay ;)

Michael, mutual admiration is a good thing ;)

So Wayne, you write day AND night ;) I know, I wonder if I could glue the lids shut at night?

That's the frustrating part Gina, it always seems to happen at the worst times.

Yes, DDE, the mind just doesn't want to stop working.

Thanks for the great comment Suzie. Sharing our issues somehow makes them seem less large. Thanks too for the voters and shares.

Younghopes, thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such a thoughtful comment and of course for the vote and share.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal

As long as I can remember, I have always found myself most creative in the dark night. When I was a student, I studied in the night, now I'm a writer, I write in the night.

HP works on American Time, which means when it is day time in US, it will be night here (I live on the other part of the globe.)

I have become an owl. LOL


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

I lie awake Jasmeetk writing hubs in my head. I clear my head and get ready to sleep and another pops in. Sorry you're having these problems.

Ah Vinaya, being an owl is a good thing, if it is what you want to do! Many famous writers would write at night....hmm, you are in good company and are a great writer.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

Hi mary, yes I totally understand this, why oh why do we get the best ideas just as we have got comfortable at night? drives me insane! lol! I love the Robert Benchley quote, really funny but true! I used to take a notepad to bed with me, but got fed up of scribbling just as I was going to sleep! lol!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Exactly Nell. I love Robert Benchley but then I like any humorist! No more night scribbling ;)


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

bet you do more night scribbling too! lol!


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Wow, Mary. You must've been reading my mind. Last night I was up until 4:30 am. And I follow your logic completely about the tangents that something simple like a walk will inspire. I've started taking my camera with me at all times, now, just in case I run across something inspiring and isn't everything?

Great capture of the writer's dilemma. See you in dream land.

Peg


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

You bet Nell, the mind races and sometimes the fingers follow.

Gee Peg, I sure hope I do wind up in dreamland! I agree, a camera is a writers best friend, even things you don't notice when you first take the picture, show up later or spark something else.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

I did a couple of poems a while ago, as they woke me out of a dead sleep and I HAD to do them. Believe me, I understand this. Great story, as we have all had this happen at one time or another. It is the nature of the beast.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

I guess we don't have to worry about wearing out sheets aviannovice!


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 3 years ago from Brownsville,TX

wow thats what my bed looked like last night I didnt fall asleep till 4 am and then it was on my chair.. yes I see a patterned.. lol. love your hub and I OH BOY can I relate.. blessings

Sharing

debbie


marwan asmar profile image

marwan asmar 3 years ago from Amman, Jordan

Great piece of work. I will pass on, so very true................


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Hopefully Deborah, things will get better for you. Blessing to you and yours. Thanks for sharing.

Thank you Marwan. Nice of you to read and pass on.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

Well my Mary of most marvelous you certainly knocked this one right out of the park with a hubpage grand slam and I really think you captured the essence and mystique of what it feels like to be a writer.

I certainly don't like going to bed unless my mind is totally empty and that's the problem - it never is - lol lol lol, and of course I live a life of total freedom (perhaps too much freedom) because no one is at home with me other than my cats. But that said I can write anywhere anyplace anytime - whether it's on my walks around the bay of the lake or in a busy congested noisy workplace on night shift - no problem, me can do, lol.

I will post and link your definitive thesis here on my FB for all to see and read and thank you for inspiring me with your words as I will bookmark this for my own personal reference.

Sending warm wishes to you from Colin, Little Miss Tiffy and Mister Gabriel at lake erie time canada 143:pm just out of the water after cutting the grass and I hope sincerely your summer is going well - and yikes it's half over already - just where does the time go?


B. A. Williams profile image

B. A. Williams 3 years ago from USA

What a wonderful article. I read each line and could relate to it. Perhaps the writers reading this article can relax, finding out that they are very similar to every other writer. We each have our quirks, I find getting up in the wee hours after getting two hour of sleep is the best time to write.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

and Barb is an awesome writer too, ya just gotta check out B.A. WILLIAMS


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Epi you always make my day! Of course I have to admit I'm a tad (just a tad) jealous you don't have to answer to anyone about when you want to write. Thank you so much for posting a link on your FB and give those two kitties a pat on the head for me. It is hot, hot, hot here but tonight it is raining giving us some much needed relief.

Thank you Barb....I wanted to know I wasn't alone ;)

Epi, you're such a gentleman.


midget38 profile image

midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

You've nailed the experience to a T, Mary. Our minds are always working, though we always need that break! Thanks for sharing!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Yes Michelle, there are times we just want to sleep!


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

I sometimes get ideas in my head and can't sleep. When I try to put it all together the next day I can't because I get this big block in my head. I never get a full 7-8 hours of sleep. The other night I got up at 1:30 and thought it was 5:00 am. Enjoyed your hub voted up.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

The shower tends to be where I get, not so much a story idea, but more often a line of dialogue or a new story line to add to the book I'm working on at the time. Sometimes I drip water through my house to get to the computer before the idea hits "tracer burnout" (you military types know that term). A great trick if you are like me is to call your cell phone and leave the idea as a message to yourself.

Stephen King wrote a great little book on his writing discipline called "On Writing." I recommend it!

BTW: THIS should be a HOD!!!


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 3 years ago from Georgia

Hi Mary, You nailed the writer's dilemma!!!! Too much going on in the head. Maybe that blank slate is more like a chalkboard crammed full of information and formulas for plots and characters and poems and scenery and...on and on ad nauseam. Nighttime is the absolute worst to cut off the constant chatter and input. Honestly, I sometimes have to fall asleep with the tv on to shut the brain waves down. I can't remember when I last got a full night's sleep, although I would love to. Alas...

I like Kathleen's idea of using the cell phone to leave messages when they hit in the middle of the night. I will try it. Like Kathleen, the shower is another hot spot for ideas. The running water, I think.

You might also like Ray Bradbury's book on writing.

This is a great piece and I think it resonates with writers everywhere. The comments are certainly pointing to that. Voted up!!!

Take care.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Seems we all fit into the mold, rampant ideas at 1:00 a.m. or thereabouts. Thanks Moonlake, someday we'll get 8 hours sleep!

Kathleen, the ideas are always there but not the same ideas, at least for me. I really need to get King's book. Billybuc recommends it too! Thanks for the votes.

You are so right Cyndi, its almost impossible to cut off that "chatter". It seems the more we try the worse it gets! Another book to add to my list. Thanks for the great comment and vote...we're all in this together ;)


Vincent Moore 3 years ago

What an interesting hub along with the video interview with one of my favorite writers Stephen King. I use to be a compulsive talker, being in sales and marketing most of my earlier careers. However I found that my last divorce closed me up considerably. I almost became hermit like in my soul. However what I did find, it opened up other doors within me that were closed for years. I began to see life differently, very visually, no where do I walk without my pad and pen in my pocket, I feel so deeply my surroundings, like never before.

I don't know if it's something or someone telling me to write as my time is short on earth or I've been given my voice back in a completely different medium. As you know most of my poetry is dark and melancholy. I have a vast well of past experiences to draw from and thus I can visualize as I pen, because most of the time I was the character I'm writing about. My blank page often sits before me on my Word page, I stare into it and then I begin. I can almost see the keys forming the ink and words that they will lay down before my eyes.

Most of my inspirations come to me at night, I have no problem sleeping most nights, although I say that loosely. Some nights are pure hell for me, others I'm too exhausted and find myself sleeping with my laptop still balancing on my knees and sometimes its laying on my carpeted floor, turned over. So many of us writers/poets have methods that allow us to express ourselves in various manners. If I am depressed, or drinking, I find myself able to capture words from behind the shadows much easier, if I am serious or worried I can also draw from my Muse with anger, I will sometimes speak to him, knowing I am really just speaking to myself, yet I feel a comfort knowing that he might just be lurking and listening.

I am a fitful writer, many times I will pen a poem, save it, go back to read it, make changes, prepare it for publication and then DELETE it completely, my moods like I said are fits and starts and sometimes downright self inflicting. What comes off my keyboard and published is often received and felt by my readers and I am so pleased when I receive the comments I do from you and many others. I am blessed when I am told that my work MOVED them in ways that only they know and felt. I believe that is the gift and sign of a decent writer/poet and after all isn't that what we are all striving for, to be heard, to be recognized by how we MOVED another's soul? Thank you for sharing this wonderful hub, now go make your bed and have a good rest:-)) I'm exhausted from typing this long comment:-)) Hugs


go-barbara-go profile image

go-barbara-go 3 years ago

Although I am totally new to this industry, I shared the same feeling, of not being able to sleep because of too many things popping here and there and striking my keyboard is the only satisfaction it can get....so even If I am sleepy, I had to get up and type. Lol! I am glad I can relate now to these things that used to be weird to me.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Vincent, even your comment moved me! "The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say."Anais Nin That my friend is why your writing moves us....you write from the heart and you write with heart saying things we might think or would like to be able to say. Poe and King are my favorites too, so though I may not be able to relate to your life I can to your choice of writers.

Having you say this is a wonderful hub thrills me! There is no higher praise than that from a great writer!! Its a little early here to make my bed, but I'll try a good nights sleep and long or not, I loved your comment. Bless you friend.

Ah Barbara, the true thoughts of a writer, new or otherwise. Thank you for the comment relating to my dilemma and yours.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Til.....sigh.....I am slightly floating, yet feel a heaviness within, after reading Vincent's comment. The man is a Poetic genius. His depth and passion defies comprehension....at least, by ordinary men. I see you share my thoughts, as do thousands of his readers. I often wonder if writers like Vincent, can truly KNOW, without question, how stunningly amazing they are.............Wow.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

I don't think they do Paula, they take themselves for granted ;) He really has such depth of feeling and takes us places we may not have ever been. I agree....Wow!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Hmmmm, GF...."Humility,".......so RARELY seen in M E N!!!! (You know I have to get my barbs in!) LOL


midget38 profile image

midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

Goodness, I so agree now because I need sleep! Thanks for sharing, Mary!


mary615 profile image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida

I guess I'm a minority here, but I sleep like a baby: from 12:00 till 6:00 a.m. I have had some bad times in my life and some people would have stayed awake worrying about them, but I just sleep. I have a daughter who cannot sleep....I feel bad for her. She's tried everything.

Great Hub. I voted UP and shared.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States

And I thought it was just me....haha. I think a writer does notice many more details in life and is always think about writing based on those details or maybe an experience that most ppeople wouldn't think twice about. I think you hub is excellent and it is so true. I write when the mood hits, and it is often in the middle of the night. Voted up and awesome1


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

I have watched many shows, read many books and articles and I have thought where did they come up with this or I should have thought of that! Anyway I like my beauty sleep so I never write at night. Maybe one day I will. Actually one night. :)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Me too Michelle! Thanks for stopping by.

How lucky you are Mary. I certainly sympathize with your daughter. Thanks for the vote and share.

I guess we're never really along Pamela ;) I know, sometimes I think I'm going crazy thinking everything might be something I could write about! Thanks for the votes.

Oh Linda, your day might come. I do agree with what you said about reading something great and wondering why I didn't think of that! Hopefully your night of sleeplessness will never come.


ocfireflies profile image

ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

tillsontitan,

And I thought (for the most part) it was just me. Smiles.

I keep a pad and pen handy and try to jot down the ideas that "grab" me so that I do not forget them.

This is a great hub! I wish I could write as well as you after having a sleepless night.

Voted Up/Share.

Best to you,

Kim


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thank you ocfireflies, I guess that's what sleeplessness does....hmmm, maybe I should write without sleep more often ;) Thank you for the vote/share. Have a great weekend.


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

I tend to write best in the mornings - I know many writers that enjoy writing through the night. Love the idea of this hub!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Hi Christy! We all write when the muse strikes. Glad you liked my idea, sometimes I never know what'll come up in my head.


CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

Come to it any way but lightly! Oh, that's good stuff. I have creativity running through me constantly. It bugs my poor husband to death. He can't understand how my brain is constantly on over drive. Great Hub!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

So that my friend explains your pen name here, CRAFTY to the Core!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

I haven't had sleepless nights over writing, but I have woke up and had a thought which I write down so I don't forget. I do know many people write at night when they can't sleep though and it is making the best use of the time.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

It just seems our brains are more active at night. Thanks for stopping by teaches.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 5 months ago from sunny Florida

You know that many of us are nodding vigorously as we read this. I do not do this nearly as much as I used to as there are so many other things on my plate that writing has had to take a secondary part of my life. And that saddens me as writing is such a cathartic way for me to channel what may be occurring in my life.

But when I was writing often, I would get up at three or four in the morning and begin writing. The words actually took over...I was only the vessel. That is still true for the most part. I hope that things will settle down so I can resume more writing.

You definitely gave voice to what many of us experience. The quotes were spot on too.

Angels are on the way to you. shared ps


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 5 months ago from New York Author

So good to hear from you Pat. We can all relate not only to sleepless nights, but letting writing be an experience that guides us through.

I hope all is well and you are doing ok. Life throws us many curve balls, but we soldier on


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 months ago from Nashville Tn.

My creativity comes alive at night. Maybe being an entertainer for so many years has trained my brain to do it's best work after dark. Alas, I am one of the millions among us who suffers with insomnia. My mind will not shut off. My inner dialogue runs rampant. So I write at night.

Love reading all the comments!

Thanks Mary. Another winner!

Audrey


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 3 months ago from California

Interesting! I do a lot of writing while I am sleeping I think--sometimes I wake up and just have to write it all down

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