The Daily Zen #13 “Before Sleep”

Let us begin.

I know a lot of people that are insomniacs and have great trouble sleeping.

I am not one of them.

When I lay down in bed, I usually fall asleep very fast. Yet, for the few minutes before I fall asleep, I use that time to actually be productive. That may seem strange, but it’s absolutely true. I dabble in fiction writing, and I find the time before sleep to be the best for imagining future stories. I can play out a potential story in my mind and weave at least a scene or two together before I fall asleep. I also on occasion have constructed non-fiction writing pieces in that time, basically writing a post or article out in my mind.

You would think this would not be a conducive mindset for falling asleep, but for some reason it relaxes me. Once I start imagining a future story, I lose any kind of anxious feelings I might be having and immerse myself in the story. I actually wish it didn’t relax me quite so much because I usually fall asleep pretty quickly. It can take me many nights to string together enough plot to actually begin working on writing a story.

I think this part of writing, coming up with one’s ideas, is the most obscured to the average person. It’s entirely internal and every writer does it differently. I use those few minutes before sleep, others might construct a story while washing the dishes, still others might take long runs. It’s so varied that there really isn’t any consistent way to go about it. Writers simply do what’s natural to them, and ideas can spring in even the most random of moments.

Old Novel of the Day: The Music of Chance by Paul Auster. This is one of my favorite novels of all time. The plot revolves around two men that are forced to build a stone wall on the property of two eccentric millionaires. It’s rather dark and philosophical, so I assume it’s not for everyone. However, I personally think it’s genius.

Instead of following me on Twitter, take a nap.