In the middle of the night….

You know I’m a chronic insomniac. I’ve blogged about this in various places over the years. You also know that I do get a lot of good ideas in the middle of the night… I’ve blogged about that too, over at Ian McGregger’s blog!

And yes, it’s happened again. So imagine the scene. It’s Saturday night. Well, actually, it’s Sunday morning, about 1:30 a.m. For some reason, I wake up with a jolt and I know that’s the end of that, as they say.

Nonetheless, and despite knowing better, I toss and turn restlessly in bed for an hour or two. I get hot and bored and more and more frustrated as a multitude of thoughts crash in on me, none of them writing-related. There are worries, and things to remember, and things to do, and upcoming birthdays, and things I forgot to do, all mingling in one bizarre and unproductive merry-go-round.


As you can see, at four a.m., I give up. I don my dressing gown and pad downstairs to seek solace from fellow insomniacs on Facebook and Twitter, as I have done many times before. However, there are only a few friends about and none of the usual insomniac clan! After a lovely but short half-hour of  chatting and catching up on blogs and social media, there’s nothing more to be done. Reluctantly, I switch the computer off again.

Alas. I am not ready for bed yet. I mean, it’s only 4:45 a.m.! Idly, I pick up a copy of the outline for my fourth book, which I have been playing with on and off for a few days. Another source of frustration, for while I know the story is there, I can’t quite get it to “zing.” I’m missing something. Or maybe I’m overambitious.

Anyway, I read through my note, circling things that I no longer like, highlighting things that inspire me. Then I go to bed.

KA-BOUM! Before I finally drop off, the story visits me in its entirety. It’s just suddenly there, the moment I have been waiting for, it zings, it sings, ooh and it’s totally rocking. It’s all I can do to scribble down my thoughts in my trusty notebook in the dark. Because, heck no, I ain’t getting up again, I just got warm and comfy, thank you very much, and I don’t want to wake OH. Plus I know I’m going to sleep, now!


I had to wait until Monday to write down a first short outline of this new venture in its entirety, but I took notes all through the weekend. And when I finally had ‘author-time’, everything just flowed. Obviously I haven’t started writing yet, that’ll have to wait until Sophie’s Encore is safely off my desk and off to the publishers in May.


But. I know I got it. It’s in the bag, it’s just a question of letting it out!

So once again… My best ideas haunt me in the middle of the night. Conceiving a book is a bit like having a baby; they come out good and ready when the time is right, no matter what time of day or night! Insomnia is my friend, really.

I know many of you are insomniacs too. Does this ring any bells?

PS ~ I am now going MIA for a couple of days as far as social media are concerned! Tonight is the night of the big FM gig (with VIP package!). The grandparents are babysitting and OH and I are taking a bit of time out. PLEASE feel free to comment, you know I’ll get back to you as soon as. XX Rock On!

18 responses to “In the middle of the night….

  1. Am not an insomniac Nicky, I can zzzzz with the best of them but one thing I do believe in with regard to writing is that there is no way you can force the issue with anything from the plot to actual scenes. I learned long ago that the inspiration for both will come when it’s ready and not before. And when it does it is in the most unlikely places and sometimes at a time when you’ve almost given up the will to live! But you have it now, so it’s meant to be. Good luck, keep rockin’ and enjoy the gig! xxxx

    • Aww, thanks Jo! I’d not *quite* given up the will to live, I was only in the early planning stages, but it is nice to have that ‘zing’ now. YAY! Re the gig ~ well we’re nearly off but they are predicting blizzards and it’s kind of unsettling our baby-sitting house-swapping masterplan a bit… But we’ll give it a go. Tough It Out, as FM would say!! Leaving shortly… wish me luck!

  2. Hi Nicky,
    You know by now I’m somewhat like you, especially that of being an insomniac. Why else would I be posting responses to your Music Monday posts the way I do sometimes around 9:30 AM [4:30 AM my time]. We both keep pen and paper near our beds just in case the creative muses of authors decides to pay us a visit.
    So CONGRATULATIONS on completing the skeleton of your next book, but now comes the next part, slightly harder though, of fleshing it out with all the NIPS/TUCKS needing to be done so the end product will be “beautiful” enough to enter a contest.
    As for myself, I’ve laid off writing [rewriting] my second novel as I unfortunately have seen no sales on my first romance YA paranormal romance writing endeavor. I’m well aware it takes time to get people to notice any new author and their books, which is why right now I’m concentrating on getting blog interviews.
    Anyway, enough about me.

    You should also know by now I don’t usually post unless I’ve got song to go with the topic of your post, and today is no exception. Now, without any further adieu, I’d like to offer you and all of your followers….

    Have a GREAT DAY !!!

    • Hi Robin, I knew this post would capture your interest ~ thankfully not quite as early in the morning as it might have done, so you must have had some sleep! Thanks for posting Billy Joel too, very appropriate. Don’t be discouraged regarding the sales; it does take time and you’re doing the right thing by seeking to appear on reader-facing blogs! But I’d also say, keep writing!! That’s just as important as promoting, in my opinion. Good luck and stay in touch! XX (I know you will)

  3. Been there, Nicky. Many times! Glad you got good results from your insomnia. That was worth losing sleep over.

  4. Nicky, you just described last night for me! The characters for my next book are screaming to be heard and I can’t write their story yet. I feel your pain. 🙂

  5. I’ve always been a bit of a night owl and can get by on very little sleep, however, it does catch up on me from time to time. I suppose there’s one good thing about being up in the middle of the night, it obviously suits your creative mind.

    • It does! Only the creative mind doesn’t suit my mummy-lifestyle-requirements (e.g. rising at 6:30….) I wish I had your capacity to get by on a lot less sleep. #envious

  6. Yes, but why does the mind get creative from midnight onwards?? Sooo, very frustrating. Well done, Nicky, on getting your notes down in the dark. What we need is a thought to paper translator. 🙂 xx

    • LOL, indeed why? And the thought to paper translator would be a fabulous idea. Inventors of the world, take note, there’s demand here! Thanks for visiting, Sheryl! 🙂

  7. I’m not an insomniac either but I can be roused from a sound slumber with a cracker of an idea. I have a micro cassette recorder on my bedside table but have yet to use it. Since I put fresh batteries and a new tape in it, I’ve not been visited by nocturnal epiphanies.

    I’m not sure how well it works, but at one of the writing workshops I attended, it was mentioned by Brian Henry (aka Quick Brown Fox) the presenter, to just go through the motions of writing your thoughts down. Just pretend you’re writing it down as you “scribble” your thoughts into the nothingness of air. Supposedly helps you remember come morning.

    Water tends to bring on some of my best ideas – in the shower, brushing my teeth, rinsing dishes/loading the dishwasher – well you get the idea.

    • I’ve heard about that ‘scribble in the air’ idea for locking thoughts into your head but I’m not sure I trust it, he he he! Thanks for stopping by and if you have any tips for a good, sound night’s sleep, I’ll gladly take them. As for ideas in the shower… Get yourself one of these shower-writing-pads that they make for kiddies now? XX Rock on, Mel, and thanks for visiting. 🙂

  8. Back again Nicky! Have now actually shared one of your insomniac moments! Woke up in the middle of the night thinking about the current scene I’m writing. My central male is about to get out of a difficult situation but I had not quite worked out how. Lying awake for half an hour fixed the problem! Result!

    • Ha, a kindred spirit. Maybe we should start a Facebook group for insomniac writers!! Thanks for commenting and I’m glad you got your scene sorted. Rock on, Jo! xx

  9. Nicky, I know where you are coming from and feel your pain – lol – having spent most of my adult life working through the night and often not getting to bed at all, or at a time when most people have been up for hours, my body clock is shot. I have to write when the ideas come otherwise I forget them – even when I write notes to myself I find I lose them or cannot read my own writing such was the excitement of scribbling it all down as it flowed. So, whatever time I am lying awake unable to sleep I have to get up and work until I fall off my perch. Like you my plots often come all at once and I wish I could type as fast as I can think. I am glad you sorted book four before you forgot it all. Cannot wait. Need to pick my brains, let me know. 🙂

    • Ah, Jane, a kindred spirit for sure. A love of rock, a love or rock stars (LOL) and writing, an inability to sleep like ‘normal’ people and an overactive creative mind. Thank you so much for your lovely comment. Next time I can’t sleep, I’ll be seeking you on FB or Twitter!! I’ll definitely let you know if I need to pick your brains again!!!!!! Rock on and… hope you got some sleep last night! 🙂

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