Saturday, July 17, 2010

At Two A.M.-- Letting Out Your Writing Genie

Last week I posted about beginning a new book. Other authors and writers get excited hearing that a fellow writer is beginning that next book. I posted that I'd heard the characters in my head at 2 a.m., and excited, I had to write this all down the next morning. I had one writer comment who was really relieved to know this was perfectly normal behavior for a writer, and that characters begin talking inside your head--at about 2 a.m.--just like her.

I wanted to explain this phenomenon today, I tried my darnedest to find the article which explained it, but I couldn't find it. I ever do find it, I'll have to post on it further.

But the whole thing is, your brain during the day is so taxed, and full with all the mundane stuff--getting the kids off to work, maybe you have to go to work, what will you feed everyone when you get home. Bills, taking kids to and from athletics, and so on. When can you think about a book idea? Or characters, or plot?

Two a.m. That's when the writer genie (a.k.a. muse) comes out. Many times I've woke up with the idea in the morning. Maybe an hour or so before I'm supposed to get up. But it doesn't matter when, or what time. It's when our brain is relaxed enough so that that creative part of the brain can come out and play.

The ideas are crystal clear, voices, characters, even the place they're in seem real. Stephanie Meyer said, when she bean work on Twilight, that she would hear these voices inside her head in the middle of the night and would go down to her computer and begin writing this dialogue out. This worked out well for her.

Writers are not the only creative beings who find the creative juices flow when they are most relaxed. Dreams can bring on the best in all those people, from poets, to musicians to inventors.

"The Devil's Trill" by Giuseppe Tartini was dubbed his greatest work, and he'd written it after a dream in which he heard the devil play the violin. Of course, Tartini's attempt to recapture what he'd heard, he admitted, could not compare.

Inventors, musicians, poets, and so on all rely on that moment when our brain is most relaxed, and nothing else is there to bother us. That's probably why we all like to work at night, or very early in the morning, while the mind is refreshed.

So, if you are a writer and you're finding yourself "hearing voices" at two a.m., no, you're not going crazy. You are a notch above the norm. You are a creative person, and you should rejoice that you have this ability. And if you are in the midst of a book, and don't know what is to come next, don't push yourself. Let the writing genie come out, because he will, and you'll have your answer after you quit worrying about it, and you're relaxed.

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