Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Why I Can't Sleep For the Ideas in My Head

Sometimes I have absolutely no ideas and all I want to do is just go to sleep. I don't want to think about writing, I don't want to look at a computer screen or anything at all. But there are other times that I'm so full to bursting with ideas that I can't stop them from coming. And I literally can't sleep because of the ideas.

There have been times when I've climbed out of bed and booted up my laptop in the middle of the night just to get the ideas out of my head so I could get some rest. I'm one of those writers who sometimes feels like a schizophrenic. My characters don't just act out their stories in my head and I put words in their mouths. No. It isn't that easy for me. They talk to me, they tell me their stories and scream them into my ears until I can't ignore them. So sometimes, writing them down is all I can do to get a little bit of relief.

I like those nights sometimes. When I don't want to sleep and I'm so full of energy that I could stay up all night writing. I have one idea after another rushing through my head and flowing like a waterfall onto the paper. Oh, I love those nights. I love when I get chapter after chapter after chapter written in one night. Just the feeling of seeing my page count go up... it's a rush. For that first draft, it doesn't matter if it's the great American novel. It just matters that it's my words--my characters' words--on that screen in black and white. Somehow, to me, 300 is the magic number. Three hundred pages seems like a good number for a completed novel. And it's always worked out for me that the story wraps itself up right around that 300 page mark.

I need more of those nights now that I'm on holiday. I need nights where I can stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning pouring out my thoughts. Finishing one novel, putting down the ideas for another, brainstorming a third. Because I love to write. I have folder after folder on my computer that has ideas for more novels, for a different series or two. I will literally spend the rest of my life writing stories, regardless of whether I make my living like this.

So it's a good night when I can't sleep for the ideas in my head. Unless I have to go to work the next morning.

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Edited by - Stephanie King