Does Every Writer Suffer Insomnia?

It's a good question to ask, and I intend to ask the writers' group I belong to, Hanover Writers Club, about it when we meet this month, which just happens to be on my birthday.

As I sit here writing this, it is 4:44 a.m. I didn't just wake up five minutes ago, either. I woke over an hour ago. Yesterday morning I woke around four. At this rate, I figure I will be waking up before I go to bed in about a week.

Yesterday morning, if you use a loose definition of the word morning, it was a dream that woke me. It wasn't a good dream, so I won't describe it here, lest I plant a seed in your own minds and you'd be blaming me in the middle of an approaching night for your own insomnia. This morning, it was one of my famous migraines. I sometimes wake up with them. All I can say is thank God for Imitrex.

So, back to my original question. I have to wonder if it's something in the psyche of a writer to suffer from this malady. Does God put this into writers' genetic makeup to force us to wrangle with our Muse when the sane world is asleep? Many writers compose long treatises on writing, and many claim that the "wee hours" of the morning are best for creating the stories that sometimes seem to crop up out of nowhere. We are told, or at least I was by my mother, that everything has a purpose. Is heightened creative thought the purpose behind insomnia?

It is certainly a topic many writers have tackled. Stephen King even wrote an entire novel about it (Insomnia, Viking Press, 1994). I decided long ago King was trying to give us all the affliction by telling us his horror stories in the first place. I wondered if his stories weren't a manifestation of the old adage, misery loves company. And no, that isn't meant as a pun on the title of yet another of his successful books (Misery, Viking Press, 1987). Then, of course, there is also his novel, Doctor Sleep (Scribner, 2016).

Is his fascination with sleep due to his own struggles with it? Sleep itself has been termed a time when we go safely insane each night. And it has been shown that sleep deprivation will cause us to go quite mad quite soon. Wake up on Monday morning and remain awake until Friday morning, and by that time you'll be suffering wild hallucinations. You will essentially be dreaming while physically awake. Your overall health will suffer as well.

It is now 5:12 and I am still not sleepy. I've suffered from this off and on since I was in my twenties, which is a long time ago. The interesting part of this time alone in the dark sitting before the only light in the room glowing from my computer screen is that a story coalesced in my brain while writing this blog. Oddly, the idea has nothing to do with sleep. Where did that idea come from?

That's a good question, too.

Comments for this blog entry are "ON." You are free to comment as you wish. If you like to write, whether for your own pleasure or a desire to publish, your take on the question posed in the title is welcome. You can even tackle some of the other questions I asked in this. Even if you hate to write, your musings on the subject are welcome. Don't be shy. I really want to know what you think. And by the way, there's also a place to "LIKE" this and my other blogs.

Charles TabbComment