It’s been a long time since I tried using morning pages as a means to get into writing gear. Probably since writing camp, in fact (what’s up, fellow Ghost Ranchers!). The truth is they never really worked for me as a means to trigger my fiction narrative stream – it’s a different kind of writing and it uses a different part of my brain. Probably because I have never been able to let go and just write my fiction, or, at least, not on demand. Sometimes it happens that way on a mad inspiration.
But anyway here I am trying them out today because it’s 5:16, I have been awake since about 2:30, and there is just a point when you realize you’re not going to stop tossing and turning so you might as well make some use of the time you’ve been given. That is the German in me, that ruthless practicality. If I were more of a sybarite I would no doubt just continue to lie there and relish the fact that I did not have to get up and start my day for hours yet.
I haven’t been able to write again lately. I can’t tell anymore if it’s actually a narrative block issue or if it’s just that my brain is going haywire. I feel like the retarded kid holding two magnets together at the same poles, wondering why they won’t stick the way they are supposed to, because, duh, magnets. That is how my thoughts feel when I try to find my narrative voice. Clunk, clunk, clunk. Why won’t it click? Clunk. Clunk. If I just keep hitting them enough times this is bound to work, right? Clunk.
That’s my brain right now. I can’t stand it. The reason I could not fall back asleep is the same reason I haven’t been able to write – I couldn’t find the narrative voice inside my head. I don’t know if I have talked about my old battles with insomnia much here, but I started telling myself stories when I was early in my teenage years because I had terrible insomnia, and the only way to make my mind settle down enough to sleep was to get so engaged in a story I forgot to stay awake. At some point I realized I liked my stories and wanted to preserve them. Hence the novel-writing. Anyway. I couldn’t get back to sleep because whatever is going on in my head that is keeping me from writing is also keeping me from telling stories at night. My head has become this dead space. It’s like the part of me that creates things is just…gone. I don’t even know if it’s walled off somewhere. It feels gone. And I have no idea what to do to get it back. When I try to imagine anything all I get are thought trains that literally drive off the end of tracks that just stop. Over and over again. Like my brain just short-circuits. I feel like I’m goddamn Harrison Bergeron.
Ah, well. Now it’s 5:34 and suddenly I think I can sleep again. Guess this was good for something. Even if it wasn’t what I wanted it to be good for.