Last night I couldn’t sleep.
I was supposed to be up at 5:30am for our weekly breakfast Bible study. I almost never get enough sleep on these nights, but I had actually turned out the lights at 9:37pm.
8 hours on a Monday night!
But I just lay there, tossing and turning. I had left the door open and the cats were walking all over me. Unable to get comfortable, I finally checked my watch. 10:30. So much for 8 hours.
While lying there, I had to time to think. Rarely does this happen. Most nights, I’m asleep moments after I turn out the lights. If I’m really having trouble falling asleep, I try two surefire methods. First, I try praying. That usually does the trick.
If praying doesn’t put me to sleep, I start to think about writing. I’ve been working on my novel for 12 years and I’m stuck. My two main characters are stuck in a fight with a massive alien bear in a snowy mountain forest, and I haven’t figured out how they will escape.
Since I’ve officially finished my doctorate, I’ve actually had hope that I might have the time to do more writing. For the first time in quite a while, my idle thoughts yielded creative ideas, a lot of them, in fact. Instead of getting sleepier, my mind was winding up.
Recognizing that sleep was a lost cause, I got out my phone and opened Evernote at about 10:30. Ideas kept coming, and I kept writing them down.
Between the hours of 9:37 and 11:17 last night, I had a twofold breakthrough. I finally got my guys out of their 16-month grizzly bear purgatory, and I also came up with 55 ideas for new blog posts.
So I’m writing for fun again. And it’s been a while – 16 months, to be exact. It’s a strange feeling. Overwhelming, actually. When I think about actually posting something on my website, I realize that it hasn’t been updated at all since September of 2015, and most of the content is from 2013. And then I see the stagnant “podcast” page that links to nothing since I stopped paying for the hosting.
It feels like seeing Star Wars Episode VII in the movie theater for the first time. I think to myself, “It’s been a long time since I’ve done this. Will it be as good as it was last time around?” To be honest, I don’t know. But I do know that it feels great to be writing for fun again. And the more I think about it, the more ideas I get – new blog posts, ideas for finishing a (very) rough draft of my novel, maybe even starting another podcast.
I don’t want to get carried away and promise the moon, however. In 2015 I said I’d finish writing my novel that year and publish a chapter a week. That worked great for the first 27 chapters, but I haven’t written a word since. So I’m not going to make any grand promises like that.
But I can say that with this doctorate out of the way, I find that I have more bandwidth for writing and reading. So you can expect to see more of me on here in the future. And I may even update the website!