What the hell is sleep?
I honestly don’t know any more. When you are a writer, insomnia seems like a beautiful thing. Ideas start flowing when you are falling asleep, yet you never actually fall asleep because there is something in your brain preventing you from doing so. It leaves you in a half conscious state so you can take each idea as them come before whatever it is that has its claws in your, forbidding you from entering the depths of your imagination in the form of a dream decides to let go. Finally allowing you to plunge into a peaceful slumber even if it is only for 15 minutes.
Yet when you awake, you reach for the pad that you wrote those half conscious ideas down on and discover that you’ve written nothing but scribbles. They aren’t even half tangible scribbles like a doctor does. They are the scribbles of the crazy cat lady from The Simpsons.
If I try to write whilst in this half conscious state that is my insomnia, I end up with crazy cat lady scribbles. My words make as much sense as the usefulness of a chocolate fire guard. When I do manage to fall asleep and enter the imaginary worlds I write about, I’m subjected to confusion and nonsense. If I am incredibly unlucky then I am subjected to a night terror where I am chased by giant spiders or dragons. I’ll wake up and pat down my bed and walk, crying because I think it’s real and the whole experience leaves me unable to write for hours. I’m unable to write for fear that I’ll remember more about the terror and that it will penetrate the world I’ve created.
Maybe the insomnia and night terrors are a sign that I need to stop writing for a while. Yet if writing is what I do and it is the career path I’ve chosen to forge, then I need to continue despite the fears it creates. To me that is what being a writer is. It’s facing your fears and placing them down onto paper, or a word document and tackling them one letter at a time.