Insomnia and the writing process

This morning I started another project to add to my pile of WIP. It was too hot to sleep with the windows closed last night, and I had closed the window because of the feline activity on the veranda roof. I spend much of my nights awake what with one thing or another, and often get tremendous ideas between two and five in the morning. Usually they don’t bear close scrutiny in the cold light of day, but last night for some reason, whole chunks of a book I wrote about fifteen years ago came back to me.

As a novel it was a typical first novel. Laughable in places, full of clichés and plot holes, and with just a few lovely lines. What hit me though was that it would make a tremendous NA story. NA hadn’t been invented fifteen years ago so it’s a good thing I abandoned it before ever approaching a publisher. Now, thanks to fashion and literary trends, I might be able to turn it into something.

I need another literary project like a hole in the head but it seems such a shame not to dust it off and try and knock a proper story out of it. It should be completely contemporary and romantic enough to have me weeping like a fountain. But thinking about it, I can see a lovely fantasy twist that would take it in an entirely different direction…

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Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

6 thoughts on “Insomnia and the writing process”

  1. That’s how Midnight started out. It was my first serious attempt at a novel and boy, talk about cliches, adverbs galore, etc, etc. But I never threw it away, I knew it held promise. Good luck with your new project, Jane.

    1. Thanks Kate. I was astonished at how much of it came back, visual scenes and chunks of text. If it hadn’t been for that I wouldn’t have thought any more about it. There’s something in there, among the dross. We’ll see if I have the patience to drag it out.

  2. Perhaps that writing and insomnia thing is a general experience. My very first Blog post was because of it, and called “Waking Thoughts” I find, if I don’t get up and write down the texture of my ideas, they are pretty lifeless and lost by the morning. Oh for a good night’s sleep

    1. I’m sure you’re right about that. Brain activity always seems to be most frantic when you’re tired and trying to get to sleep. Often the thoughts are completely disjointed and useless, or else they run over ideas that already exist. Sometimes though they actually make sense. Unlike you though I never get up to write them down. It’s too disturbing for the creatures sleeping around me. i’ve lost a few good ideas that way, hoping I’ll remember in the morning.

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