Tag Archive | Sleep

Night Writer

I’ve come to find out that I’m doing things at night when I should be asleep. Things that I’m kind of amazed to find in the mornings. It’s not like I don’t remember what I’ve done exactly, just that I’m not aware of the full realm of what I’m doing at the time.

For instance writing. I find that I’m writing much about things I’d maybe not have shared had I been myself. I’m not looking for excuses, frankly there is nothing I even have to feel bad about. I hope. What I’m finding though is that sometimes I’ll start a piece with a very clear goal in mind, a vert distinct tale I want to tell. I’ll be passionate about the piece as I’m writing, getting carried away with the text of my feelings. Before I know it I look at the monitor and there are a hundreds of zzzzzz’s across the page.  I read further before the zz’s  and there is some very distinct feelings being shared about topics I’d normally keep private. I think it’s absolutely hysterical that it always seems to be the letter Z that my fingers fall asleep on.

That’s not too bad, right?

I could live with that. No biggie, just drag and highlight, hit delete. No biggie. And it’s quite noticeable even to these lethargic eyes of mine that  I can even get by with any spelling or grammar errors thanks to spell checker. So there are ways my fanny is covered when I’m spending my sleepless hours night writing.

What gets me in trouble are the sentences and paragraphs that I ramble on while discreetly nodding off over my laptop.

I’ll begin with a good idea, know what it is I want to say. Even know that there will be a learning curve to what I am trying to express during the hours of my exposition. I’ll even be able to write for several hours without ever feeling one bit of drowsiness.  But then it happens. I wake up after catching myself starting to drop my chin onto my chest. Finding line after line of Zzzzzzzzzzzz’s.

And the embarrassing parts. The rambling on’s about nothing that resembles what I was writing about, and not even that anything that makes any sense. I’ve taken the time to read a few lines, or what I can read. It’s Night Writing and looks like someone else has taken over my fingers. With a story of their own to tell.

I’m working through a writing program called “Writing Life Stories” by Bill Roorbach. I belive what is happening during those minutes or hours (I’ve no clue of how much time is passing) of Night Writing is that the last lesson is still planted firmly in my mind. Sometimes I will have dome the work that day, and sometimes all I was able to do was that day’s reading assignments. My Night Writing is an obvious extension of that day’s lesson.

Rambling on about “scaffolding” and ‘generic disclaimers” comes from what I’m learning in this writing course. It’s obvious since this terminology is not mine and is the Instructors. I find that I will have started a piece with a goal towards expressing a day spent with my grandson, and when I come back from the Night Writing I read the words of a rambling student regarding the scaffolding of any story written, let alone mine.

It’s obvious the lessons are sticking, but this Night Writing could be dangerous. Rambling on with a keyboard during an altered awake period is like writing drunk ( I actually would not know) Things that are not always in my consciousness are definitely there in my unconsciousness and while my brain would normally show some restraint with my finger tips, during Night Writing this censorship is not in place. And because so anything could come out.

It’s a good thing I have yet to post one of these Night Writer examples. a good thing that publishing has not taken place until I’m conscious of what I am doing. Thankfully I am able to edit and censor what should not be shared, and what is junk.

I’ve heard stories of people with chronic insomnia like myself who have done some pretty strange things during the time they should be asleep. I’ve read and researched this phenomenon that can take place, of actions drawn out while the body and mind should be asleep together. Not working against one another.  There are all kinds of weird and even some real dangerous actions taken by people who are not sound asleep in a safe environment. With the three stages of sleep it’s easy to see why this can happen, yet that does not make me feel any lighter. Or any better. It’s still a creepy feeling to wake up and find words you don’t remember writing. It’s a very weird sensation and despite knowing that it was me that wrote everything there I still find myself looking around for some culprit who worked their way into my writing. And into my night.

But alas there is no one else around and I have to face up to that it is I that is doing this alter ego writing. And I find other stories, other memories out of the times of Night Writing. So maybe it’s okay, and maybe since I’m able to articulate some of that which is in my subconscious this is a healthy thing.

Maybe there is some good reasons and outcomes for those times of Night Writing,   I’m learning even more about myself and the life around me.

tjhelser 2012