Last night, I could not sleep. I’d think I was ready to slumber, put my book aside and turn off the light but that just seemed to be the signal to my brain to create. One of my current works-in-progress began to appear before me in scenes and before the night was through the story I had been struggling to make come to life had been laid out before my astonished self.
This has happened to me before and it’s a beautiful thing. The trouble is that during these periods I cannot actually write. I’ve tried to sit down at my computer and capture the thoughts as they come, but that simply shuts down the process. So, I’ve learned to surrender to the stream of consciousness and lie quietly, watching the movie in my head and scribbling notes. A handheld recorder has worked for me too, but frankly not as well. The sound of my own voice stifles whatever muse is in there throwing images and action up on my mental movie screen.
To be clear, this is exactly what it feels like when I have these sessions – like watching a disjointed movie, series of clips, or maybe a film trailer. I can see and hear the characters say and do things just the way I will write them.
Amazingly, it always takes me a while to recognize what’s happening. I’ll struggle to relax and fall asleep for hours, before I realize what’s happening and get a pen and paper, finally aware that I’m being given a gift.
It has been over a year since I’ve had one of these extended “movie” nights, lasting for a couple of hours, and today I’m feeling so thrilled. My muse has returned in a really big way.
Here’s wishing you sleepless nights!