When My Mind Works Best

Picture the scene:

The blue sky deepens to black. The house darkens, room by room, and grows still. Quiet settles. It is time to sleep.

Or is it?

Precisely at that moment when everyone else in my house drifts into dreamland, my mind kicks into high gear. I’ve thought out amazing plot lines in those hours. Written countless blog posts that wax eloquent on a myriad of topics. Met characters. Created the perfect opening or closing line of a story. Finally, deep into the night, my mind shuts down, my eyelids shut, and I sleep.

The tragedy comes in the morning, when I can’t remember a single thing I thought out! I know, “get up and write it down, silly!” But that is easier said than done. There’s the eye thing. My contacts are out. My glasses don’t correct well enough for me to see words on a page (or screen) unless it is just 2-3 inches in front of my face—and even then they aren’t clear. And there’s the fact that I invariably wake up my husband as I slip out of bed or back into it. He hates that. He needs his sleep. And in the winter there’s the whole cold issue. I hate getting up once I’m toasty warm.

So there you have it. My mind works best when I can do the absolute least about it. I guess I’ll just have to keep muddling through.

4 comments on “When My Mind Works Best

  1. Forgive me, but I had to laugh at this post — just because I could relate so much. I've been struggling with the plotting of a first novel that I'm working on, and the other night, while lying in bed about to fall asleep, I finally had a "great" idea about how to open the first chapter. Although I know better, I didn't get up and write it down. By morning, all I could remember was that I'd had a "great" idea for that opening. No clue what the idea was. I could've kicked myself. (Now, in the interest of honesty, it could be that the idea wasn't that great anyway, but we'll never know, will we?)

  2. "muddling through" has been known to topple nations. Don't underestimate the power of muddling.

    Keep on keeping on : )

  3. Hi, D'Ann. I agree about the tape recorder. I long ago learned that what seems so crystal clear in the evening before I sleep has faded into unconsciousness by morning. That's probably because during the night, your mind dreams them all away. So I always write down or somehow get into a less ethereal form anything I will want to act on, no matter if it's inconvenient, even if I later decide not to act on it after all.

    (I myself sleep next to my laptop—hey, no laughing! :-)—so I just reach over and type a one-line reminder on a virtual sticky. That usually does the trick. I also use the same method to record dreams that I want to remember.


  4. Pick up a miniature tape recorder at Radio Shack and put it at your bedside. Whisper your ideas into it (muffle your voice by talking into your pillow so you don't disturb your husband). In the morning, try to decipher what you mumbled.

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