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A Good Restless Night ~ After Affect: Letting it Flow Out
Art Framing Art.JPG

Last night was a restless night. Not in a bad way. I waited too long to brush my teeth and it bothwhen I skip a night of flossing and brushing. My significant other got up to use the restroom at close to 3:30 a.m. and I took the opportunity to drag myself from a laziness; not quite sleep, rather some sort of heaviness where my mind and body were both awake, but neither was budging. I know it drives him crazy when I wait so long. It disrupts his sleep. I’ll try to do better.

After that, I was wide awake and that thing that happens, happened. You know, where you find yourself phantom writing, where thoughts pour out of your mind, full ideas and thoughts that you’ve held inside and turned around and around—they finally begin pouring out coherently and you can see the words, the sentences, the feelings streaming by, but you just watch. You don’t want to move. You don’t want to disrupt the flow.

And so, there I was. I didn’t want to get up again because I could sense that my significant other was not sound asleep yet. It wouldn’t take long. I continued to let my thoughts spill out and I imagined that I was an hour glass and these thoughts were sand steadily pouring out and I wasn’t doing anything about it. And then I felt the night breeze caress my cheek. It soothed me so. There is nothing I enjoy more than the feel of the breeze on my skin at night through the open window. I have a pack of index cards on the window sill. I grabbed one carefully not to make too much movement, then I reached for my mechanical pencil. I tried to write two words and it seemed that the scratch of the pencil in the quiet room echoed loud. It wasn’t going to work. I put both back up and sat there, going back and forth in my mind: Am I going to get up or lose all the thoughts that are shooting out like stars in the sky? What will I do? Do I want to begin my day?

By now it was a little after 4:00 a.m.—ah makes me think of a book I checked out from the library. I’ve poked around in it, haven’t done the exercises. But still felt inspired in some way. I’ll have to come back to this book, since it makes more sense now that 4:00 a.m. is on my mind. The book is called The 4 a.m.. Breakthrough: Unconventional Writing Exercises that Transform your Fiction by Brian Kiteley. He’s also written The 3 a.m. Breakthrough. I haven’t set my eyes on that one yet. As I was saying: I didn’t want to get up that early and start my day because I knew I would be exhausted later and that I needed to sleep.

Finally, I heard the breath from my significant other that signifies that if I get up, he won’t notice, so I slide out of bed, or rather I maneuver out of bed. I’m boxed in on the window side and I have to navigate just enough space to put my foot down at the end of the bed, so as not to lose my balance. I go to the living room, get the battery operated lantern from the bottom shelf, turn it on, get my notebook and pencil, crouch over, and begin writing.

By then, the thoughts are not exactly flowing out the way they were at the brink of awakening. No, of course not. I did manage to jot a few thoughts down so that I can come back to them later. Instead what I wrote was mostly a few words to spark my memory next time, words put in their own corners in the notebook for each separate idea or thought. I’m still glad I got out of bed. I’m glad I was awake at that hour. The clouds seem to wait until the wee hours of the morning to look there most stunning and romantic. I could slip out of my window and fly with them easily. And that was my restless night.

About the photo: I’m not exactly sure why I chose this one to share. I took it a month back on a visit to the library. I liked how one piece of art framed the other artwork. It was taken with my iPod Touch, so the quality isn’t that great. There’s something about it I like and I love that the mountain is in the background.

It’s nighttime again…have a good night.

Happy writing!

6 Comment count
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Rebbecca, I love sharing a


I love sharing a bed with my husband, but there are times when I miss the days of sleeping alone- just because when those middle of the night writing opportunities arrived, I could turn on a light and write furiously.


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Annette, I share your

Annette, I share your sentiments. What I started doing after that night is putting my iPod Touch on the window sill, that way, if I wake in the night with thoughts swirling, I can open notepad and start tapping away. It may throw off a little light, but it might solve the problem. Hmm….we’ll see.




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Oh dear – could you not

Oh dear – could you not rearrange the bed, so that neither party is boxed in by the wall? I vote we bring back Regency-style separate bedrooms :–)

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Katherine, We live in a very

Katherine, We live in a very tiny apartment with a total of two rooms. The bedroom doesn’t have the space to be configured otherwise, but we manage. I suppose it keeps my balancing efforts sharp! I’m not sure how I would feel about the Regency-style separate bedrooms. The idea seems so un-cozy.

: )

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Wife, cats, me, writing -

We're a restless bunch. One of us is always getting up or going to bed. It's pretty crazy. 

Phantom writing - I like that expression. That beats my phrase, 'writing in my head'. 


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Michael, It sounds like your

Michael, It sounds like your wife, the cats, and you are used to the craziness, so it probably works. Or maybe it’s crazy in not such a good way…As I said to Annette, I’m going to give the iPod Touch a try next time I have a restless night with thoughts clicking about in my mind. Then I won’t have to get out of bed.