Discovery #1: Writers are curiously sleep-deprived creatures. Which kind of sucks, because I like my sleep. But I’m learning along the way that sometimes the absolute best you can come up with happens in that weird nether-region between awake and asleep.

Last night, I tried to scrap together some thoughts for an essay I’ve been wanting and needing to write. I’ve been reading Anne Lamott again lately, and something about her makes me want to attempt smart, funny, deep spiritual musings, probably because in my wildest dreams I’d like to write like her. (Which brings me to Discovery #2: What goes in your head sometimes comes out on your paper. So read good stuff.)

Anyway. After jotting down a paragraph, I went to bed. But random images kept popping up, floating from my subconscious, where they like to hang out unless I’m driving, in the shower, or trying to sleep. So, with a harrumph and a protest (“But I gotta get up eaaaarrrrly tomorrow!”), I flipped on the lamp, whipped out a journal, and scribbled away til well past midnight.

I haven’t gone back yet to look at what I came up with and see if any of it is usable yet. I am aware that every scrap, every loose fragment, is important. It’s hard to accept sometimes, but even your half-asleep scribbles — no, especially your half-asleep scribbles — have a glimmer of potential. They’re simply waiting to be put together, maybe in a current piece, or maybe in something entirely different that won’t show up for years, a ragtag, patchwork quilt of scraps dug from the back of the closet.

That’s what makes this writing thing so fun, right? Are words keeping you up at night?

Photo Credit: Sleepy Writer by FiacreG on Flickr.

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