Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Pernoctation Sufferers Unite…

November 6, 2013

Pernoctation – definition: insomnia


Let’s have a show of hands, who’s not sleeping now we are into NaNo? Are the ideas coming thick and fast making sleep impossible? Or have they stalled, again making sleep difficult?

It is bizarre how both situations result in the same problem – sleeplessness. Let’s take them one at a time. Our mind becomes crowded with characters, plot lines and new stories often, it is a writer’s curse or blessing, depending on how you view it and at what time. Imagine you are just falling asleep and a story idea pops into your head. It is your best conception yet. You now have a choice – go to sleep hoping you remember it the next morning or you get up and write it down, knowing in your heart of hearts it will evaporate during the night.

The second situation is much more troubling. You have begun a narrative and it is flowing really well. You feel happy in its direction. Then suddenly you hit a stumbling block. These emerge in numerous ways, such as the character is not true to themselves, the plot crumbles, the perceived direction and outcome twist into something you are unsure of. What is the cure for this most dire condition? Actually, it could be a good night’s sleep – if you can stop your mind from worrying about the story.

We need to have the ability to shut off and relax. Our sub conscious can overcome the problem much better than our conscious mind, which is polluted with constant ‘what if’ and ‘maybe’ questions. Take a long hot bath or go for a walk or read a book in a different genre. Turn off the worry in whatever way you can. Step back and let the story mend itself in your mind.

I sympathize with insomnia sufferers because I have been there on many occasions for various reasons. Use your awake time constructively if you can. I wish you all a good day and a good night.

Do you have a cure or trick to get to sleep?

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