…Doesn’t that sound like a great literary treatise? In actuality, not so much.
Blog request number three: Michelle Brooks: My creative monkeys* want to hear about what you think about when you first wake up in the morning and/or what you think about as you drift off to sleep at night.
Since my muse insists on flitting around like a dervish today, I’m having a hard time focusing on the edits I need to do. And I thought, given my state of mind, it might be easier to tackle Michelle’s somewhat difficult query. I seriously doubt the answer will be as earth shaking or pithy as she might imagine but I’m willing to give it a try.
That said, you must understand that the periods of day she suggested are probably the most nebulous of the 24-hour cycle. Well, I suppose the actual dreams I have maybe more questionable.
Interestingly, a lot of my writing and pre-writing can happen during those “real” times. I say real because for me those of the times of day (especially early morning) when I am most unguarded and authentic. I am vulnerable and open to the universe.
I think my first awareness is usually that I am “aware” of my surroundings. Even before I move or open my eyes, I sort of calibrate. I do a scan of sorts. Am I a comfortable? Is it too hot or too cold? Is there a dog near me [there should be one or two]? Does anything hurt? Do I have to pee? Once the questions are answered, I slip back a notch mentally into that in between state and allow my mind to wander.
Some days there are actually tasks I need to plan, which I do and then work backwards to see how much time I need. I don’t like those days so much.
The best times are when I am, let’s call it—In Project. If I’m working on a new story, this is the time I can mentally drift back into the scene I’m working on and watch it play out. It’s a little bit like remembering a TV show you watched before bed. Only I direct this one. At the end of the day, I try to quit writing in the middle of an important scene. It makes it easier to pick up the action. The scene plays out while I casually observe. (Remember, I’m not fully awake, I’m sort of drowsing or floating. I wouldn’t be able to figure out a math problem, for example.)
This may last ½ hour or more while I play out different scenarios and “what-if” the next scene or two. By that time, the adrenaline has started to flow and I want to get to writing.
However, If I’m doing revisions for edits… I think of other things to forestall the time before I have to sit down at my desk and start work.
Now, it’s not always about writing. Sometimes, I just curl up and daydream about vacation, plans for the weekend, or any other flight of ideas until a drift off again.
Part Two.Last thoughts before sleeping.
This is much less creative, because I’ve generally been “in the day/world” for so many hours. Most nights, I’m exhausted by the time I close everything up and walk the dogs. My ritual is to get comfortable and review a list of things for which I’m grateful and drift into the arms of Morpheus. Often that requires some mantra-repetition—like the Serenity Prayer. And sometimes I have to repeat it ad nauseum, until my mind settles. Some nights I don’t get through one without nodding off.
That is not usually time for my imagination to fly. On occasion, I’ve read or seen something that is still ruminating. On rarer occasions, especially when I’m working on a new project, I’ll review a problematical scene just before I go to sleep, with the hope it will sort itself out. And it often does.
That was certainly elucidating! Perhaps you’ve nodded off by now too. If that were the case, I would highly recommend reading this Blog before bed. Sorry I couldn’t fill it with some Erotic adventures. Hmm, but maybe that would be a good idea for next time.
Thanks for the question…
* creative monkeys Now This subject ( I call them Sock Monkeys and anyone who knows me, knows the Evil that are “them”), I could do a week’s worth of blogs on. Maybe that will be next.
5 thoughts on “First thoughts on Waking”
Hmmm…yes the authentic thoughts are more likely to float about during “drift” time. My best writing days are the times I stay in my jammies, throwing in laundry, stretching, making a smoothie in between the real work – so the drift lasts longer, if I’m lucky it lasts all day. Then my beloved comes home, takes a look at me ( hard to tell this state from early dementia) and says, “Oh, you’ve been writing all day.” Sock Monkeys Sock Monkeys Sock Monkeys
Oh Sally, that gave me such a wonderful visual! I say—you just stay in your jams, we need your work. I like the word drift, that really is what it feels like, floating in an air mattress or an inner tube just mindlessly. Disconnected thoughts drifting through like clouds across the sun, sigh.
Interesting topic.There is a lot to be said for what happens during the “drift time”. I find it interesting that you stop writing in the middle of an action scene. I would feel compelled to “finish” it, but I really like your approach to using that time away to consider more options. I think I am losing some of that drift time. I use my phone to read at night, and will grab it when I wake up to see what’s happening, or read more. I don’t get much of a chance to read other times of the day, so that is my re/treat. I will generally see what is happening out on the river, and delay getting up as long as possible. We have a few tardies logged at school. (Sorry kids. Mommy didn’t want to get up either.) It is interesting how different people can be about that time. Some will bound out of bed, others will plan, and I could plan until there is no time left to accomplish anything. But it sure is cozy. Usually my kids will drift in and out of my bed, and sometimes even bring me breakfast. Good thing I have a king, for the “family bed”: 2 moms, 4 kids, 3 cats. (The other cat and 2 dogs do not enter this realm).
My other best place for contemplation is the car. I love to drive so much that I would hop in the car this minute to drive to Maine or Florida, or both. I should use a recorder or something to record the ideas that I have while driving. I have always loved that time, and really enjoy my alone time while driving. I could write a book about that.
Thanks for your note Susan, I’m guessing its West Coast Susan. You certainly have plenty of other things to keep you occupied! I’m fortunate as the only demands are the ones I make on myself. My canine companions are old enough to know that ” our” schedule is very flexible and they are very understanding. Interesting that you mentioned driving. In June I took a 3000 mile road trip—by myself. Halfway through, all I wanted to do was get home. I used to love driving for the same reasons you do, but the older I get the more I wanna be at home. Thanks for stopping by!
I enjoyed your ruminations on the things that are done in that semi-awake state tremendously. I tend to work things out in my head as I drift off though. To keep myself from losing those flashes of utter brilliance (Choke choke!) I’ve learned to use the recorder on my phone. Anyway I loved the blog. Thanks for a peek into your world.