In a recent post, I shared my obsession with use of notebooks for my novels. In short, I keep notebooks all over my house (even in my car, but only for use when I’m parked!), so I can write an idea down before it escapes me. But my very favorite notebook is the one right next to my bed. Oddly, in the moments right before I drift off to sleep, I come up with the most exciting ideas. Sometimes my sleepy self tries to convince me not to sit up, turn on the lamp, and write the idea in the notebook (yep, the same sleepy self that sometimes tries to talk me out of flossing my teeth), but when I do, I’m always so grateful the next day of the half-conscious notes I’ve scribbled on the page.
Sometimes I’ll write a word, a title idea, a quick sentence or some funny character quirk that’s hit me right before I doze off. I also use the notebook to capture ideas that hit me first thing in the morning—though these are more rare. In fact, I wrote my second novel, The Bungalow, while I was in the second trimester of my most recent pregnancy. And you wouldn’t believe the wild dreams I had (pregnancy dreams are notorious!), so I wrote down a ton of things pre-and-post sleep in that phase!
I think that for a writer, paying attention to dreams and daydreams is so important, that’s why I try very hard to pay attention to mine. And, last night before bed, I thought up a fun idea for a character in my fourth book (plot still in progress!), and if I hadn’t written it down in the notebook, it would have been gone forever.
Yay for dreaming!
Do you pay attention to the little thoughts that come to you right before you drift off to sleep?