Thought of the Week: Snooze

I hate inspiration in the same way I hate money: it’s constantly eluding me. That little beast, dancing just out of reach and taunting me with clues that fail to develop, is one of the most frustrating things in existence.

Of course, I can’t say I never have inspiration; after all, I managed (somehow) to write a book, half of another, and half of a third (does that make two books total?). But for the most part, it’s just not there. Just…not…there…

Or is it?

You see, I read recently a passing comment that inspiration often comes when the mind is allowed to wander, such as those moments between waking and sleeping. It’s a time when your brain starts to meander off course, taking the unbeaten track to places that make little or no sense, yet with the presence of mind still to remember it…maybe. The danger of this approach, clearly, is in actually falling asleep, because then the wanderings turn to dreams, which are inherently unmemorable.

And I can certainly attest to this. Though indistinct, I can clearly recall many, many occasions just before falling asleep (or sometimes, on those rare occasions I get to sleep in, just before waking up) when I start thinking about my writing, or my music, and suddenly something just makes so much sense that I want to jump up and scream and write it all down. Most of the time, however, I just fall asleep.

Occasionally a dream will be vivid enough to remember even after waking, if only for a little while; the seed of a novella I’d like to one day work on came from such a thing. Even the title came from the dream: The Girl Who Killed Herself in Apartment 615. Yes, it’s pretty morbid.

However, there is one source of inspiration that works more often than not, and that’s the daytime snooze. Some people refer to it as power napping, and the great thing about it is that you don’t quite fall asleep; your mind is in a constant state of drift. The realization of what happens at the end of The Redemption of Erâth: Exile (that’s book two) came from such a place. So did the knowledge of what exactly happened to Amy in her formative years in A Gothic Symphony. It’s a wonderful place to be – a world of disconnection where the oddest things suddenly make sense of themselves, and every so often blast their way to the front of your head so that you remember them.

And of course, the very best part of all of this is that – heh heh – I have an excuse to sleep during the day. Of course, the real reason is because it helps to avoid doing anything else, but the secondary benefits are rewarding. Inspiration, that elusive fiend, can’t escape my snoozes.

Ironically, the inspiration for this post came from thinking about how little inspiration I see to have. So that works, too.

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