I haven’t been sleeping well. I wake up in the middle of the night and struggle to get back to sleep. When I am unconscious, I have vivid, intense dreams that seem to be really happening. The alarm goes off in the middle of these, and I wake up feeling like I’ve been run over by a very large truck.
I know why this is. It’s no big mystery. The explanation is pretty simple.
The voices in my head won’t shut up.
No, I’m not crazy. I’m not a schizophrenic en route to a serious break with reality.
The voices belong to stories. All writers hear them. They bounce around your brain, imploring you to write them down. They whisper ideas and plots and character flaws to you until you make them come out on paper (or nowadays into your computer).
And the voices have become loud recently. My sleep problems are the result of my not doing what the voices want.
I’m supposed to be editing the third draft of a novel. I had to write a new chapter for it, and I got that done, but the changes to the other 30+ chapters are still waiting to be put in.
I’m about 60% done with a novella that started as a short story. It needs to be finished.
And all the promotion I’ve done on the Wolf Dasher series recently has got my mind circulating around the next book. Of course, I need to do more on the other two projects before I can really start writing that one.
So the voices are not getting what they want. They are not being expressed in literary fashion. With nowhere to go, they shout their ideas to me while I’m trying to sleep.
There’s only one thing to do. I’ve got to get going. I’ve got to spend a little less time marketing and a little more time creating. The hell of being an author (indie or otherwise) is that you have to spend time promoting yourself in addition to writing masterpieces. As an independent businessman, it is easy to get bogged down in the details of selling the product and forget you have to be making it too.
It’s understandable, really. There is so little time each day, and there are so many more things that need to get done than I can reasonably hope to accomplish.
But the voices are tired of waiting their turn. They’re demanding attention.
So I’m going to have to play along. I need to focus on getting these stories told.
Because the voices won’t shut up. And I need to sleep.