Things that happen when I…

…stay up until 5 AM on the first of the month/year, thereby effing up my sleep schedule for the duration of the next few days and prompting me to walk around in an everlasting state of delirium.

I’ll tell you what happens. I start listening to the voices in my head.

If you’ve ever written anything, you’d better know what I’m talking about, because if you don’t, I’m just going to feel self-conscious about myself in general and probably go fetal on a bed in a room with no windows. Actually I probably won’t, because I already have a long list of my unresolvable issues. But just to be sure, just smile and nod. Okay? Awesome.

Yeah, so, voices in my head. I have the same problems that any other writer has; I constantly have stories bouncing around in my brain. I don’t always jot them down, but they’re always there. How do I explain this? Okay, here: like a mom’s children are always somewhere on her mind, back or front, a writer is always thinking of ways to tell a new story. Or better yet, how to make an old story new.

Over my past few days of total exhaustion, story ideas have been popping up in my head more frequently than they normally do. I can’t even tell you how annoying it is. I already have two projects going—one is a play I’ve sort of abandoned, but Privateer is still going strong—but my brain doesn’t seem to think that’s enough. These $!%&-ing stories are actually keeping me up at night. I just sort of sit there in bed and stare at the ceiling, plotting out an entire novel while simultaneously hating myself for it.

If that’s not bad enough, today I go on Figment.com, and I see that they’re having a short story contest called Pretty Little Secrets, in which one writes a story about a group that has a secret using no more than 1,500 words. And *click*, goes my brain. Instantly, I’ve got a setting, a main character, and a conflict.

Eff. My. Life.

The contest is open until January 16, but I want to sit down and write it right now. Like, I have fourteen tabs open on this browser from researching my setting and topic. And now I’m writing a blog post. WTF IS WRONG WITH ME TELL ME NOW RIGHT NOW PLEASE I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE.

There it goes. Officially lost it.

In other news, I’ve actually been writing over this break and Privateer is now a 38,534-word draft. Beautiful.

Also, turns out that 5 AM is not a healthy bedtime. No, really. Who knew, right?

Also also, if you’re a writer, check out this amaze-balls site. Because you will so relate. To EVERYTHING: http://fyeahwriterleopard.tumblr.com/

I mean, like, look at this. Does this not describe everything I just said?

–Samantha Chaffin

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3 thoughts on “Things that happen when I…

  1. thejaneite says:

    I soooooooooooooo know where you’re coming from, my dear. Only I’m not trying to go to college. I feel like I practically lead a lazy life when I think about what you’re doing. 🙂 Have you ever read Lucy Maud Montgomery’s “Emily of New Moon” books? I read them years ago and I think they’re a little slow-moving for my taste now, but a lot of it really stuck with me, like when this woman tells Emily about how every writer comes to a point where they start having “3:00 am” moments, waking and not being able to sleep again, brain abuzz with feverish activity. So yeah. You’re not alone. There’s even a book about it. 🙂

    Annnnddd: I am shamefully behind on Privateer. Like, seriously so. I will be catching up shortly because …. my laptop has been fixed and returned to me!!!! I have continual access to the internet again. 🙂 And I never have time for the figment contests but I’ll be hearting / frantically reading yours the moment it’s posted.:)

  2. Neeks says:

    I’ve never seen the figment site before, now I have one more thing to do! LOL. Thank you though, I enjoyed this and I sure know how you feel! The secret I think, is finding that fine balance between constantly scraping out my brain to write something and then edit it well, and having time to like, actually work and live. I’m not coping well either, can you tell?

  3. deshipley says:

    Lying there, brain plotting, while body whimpers for sleep? Oh, yes. I’ve been mayor of that town.

    And for a second there, you almost had me trying to come up with a 1,500-word story about a group with a secret. Nice try, hon, but nothing doing. I’m not supposed to be reading blogs right now, anyway — I’ve got a stinking novel to finish! Leave me in peace! (And in the event you see my sanity running around on vacation with yours, tell it go on and enjoy itself. There’s no place for sanity, where I’m going…)

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