Ask any would be writer their greatest fear and chances are you will hear “writer’s block” in the top two responses. Well, I have created a new one and expect to be acknowledged by scholars any day now for my contribution.
I am not really sure when this all started, but some time ago I lost my ability to get a good night sleep. Now, this isn’t some run of the mill insomnia. Oh hell no! I have to do it up right. Somehow my body figured out a way to deprive me of sleep by turning up the thermostat for my upper body temperature while at the same time turning down the thermostat on my lower leg temperature. It’s kind of like throwing a Popsicle in an oven. Something is going to happen and it isn’t going to be pretty.
As you might guess, the end result of this temperature torture is an acute lack of quality sleep. I suspect that this how the zombie apocalypse gets started, and I am volunteering for the lead shuffler of the walking dead army.
What really cracks my nuts is that I am retired and should be entitled to a life of catching up on all the sleep I missed out on in my young parenting years and demanding job years. But, nooooo! Not for me. I get to yearn for those early rising mornings and sleep deprived nights of years gone by with sniveling nostalgia and acute grumbling.
By now you are asking yourself; “How the hell does this relate to writer’s block? Or, is this just another disjointed rambling of an old fart?”
Well, turn down your attention deficit meter and stay with me. And just so you know, old farts don’t ramble. They just work hard at filling in the pertinent background information to the point they were making before they got sidetracked.
For the past half hour, I have been staring at this window on my computer trying to figure out where that damned zombie was going with this line of thought that he started at 3 a.m. My early morning creativity, born from sleepless frustration energy has now been replaced by later morning sleepless stupidity. The harder I try to reactivate the mildly humorous line of thought, the more the humor decays into a darkness that Steven King would envy. The tongue-in-cheek discourse I had planned morphs into something resembling a dagger-in-the-forehead tale leading to who knows where.
“What do you mean, this sounds more like bipolar humor than dyslexic humor? Who the hell is writing this masterpiece, anyway? And, besides, I’ll use your critical, analytical definition in another piece… that’s what writers do, you see. They borrow ideas like a cheap neighbor borrows tools.”
Truth be told, for a writer, there is little distinction between dyslexic writing and bipolar writing. They both resemble the wanderings of a drunk bug trying to cross a sidewalk.
So, as the days, weeks, and months of this “sleep crapnia” issue stripped away my normally jocular writing style a different creature emerged. Slowly, quietly, there in the shadows of my diminished mind a battle began to rage between the forces of rested reflection and sleepless raging.
So, should my normally jocular charm morph into that sleepless grumbling grouch, I will continue to post.
In future pieces I may take a light-hearted look at such topics as;
- selecting a perfect Christmas tree from the blackened remains of a recent forest fire, and
- writing satirical humor without morphing into the demented ravings of a serial killer.