Before a doctor wrote a prescription for this tiny pill to be taken an hour or so before bedtime, I would lie awake thinking for hours. The thoughts came to me in such rapid fire frequency, my head was like a pinball machine. There were really dumb thoughts bouncing into good thoughts, dark ugly thoughts bouncing into the pure decent thoughts.
My wife, Julie Anne, would tell me, “Just relax, think of some beautiful and romantic place you want to visit and imagine the fun things you will do with me and the kids. Think out every detail in your mind, every single activity. Break everything down: the kids, what they’re wearing, the smiles on their faces, the happy yells they make, every single detail…”
“Whoa!” I say to Julie Anne, “I just want to go to sleep and you’re asking me to think even more…”
:”Yes,” she says, “but it’s controlled thinking. By the time you cover so many minute details, you’ll fall to sleep.”
“Yeah, yeah, okay,” I mumble back, “I’ll try it!”
Hours later I’m still awake and now all the other thoughts are mingling with me, Julie Anne, and the kids on this lovely resort spot I’ve picked. The long and short of it, just couldn’t sleep. Mild insomnia, maybe, or, not so mild, who knows?
Now, with this little pill (only take a quarter of the pill) my nights are going very well. Guess the medication relaxes the mind so I can sleep.
Anyway, it got me to wondering. Thinking is the writer’s chief ally in his trade. Thoughts make up all those great phrases we write, put flesh on those characters we create in our books, maybe even put smiles on readers faces or make them gasp. So, it’s impossible for writers not to think.
But I have to tell you, don’t be lying awake too late into the night, thinking what you should have done yesterday, what you’ve got to do tomorrow, and, particularly, don’t be thinking about the past — some of those demons can eat you up.
So, what’s your point, Dr. Billy Boy?
The point is, we can maybe think too much and damage our health. If you are doing what I was doing for years, lying in bed, tossing and turning, thoughts bouncing off of each other in crazy disarray, just don’t do it! See a doctor and get one of those little mind-relaxing pills. You need a fresh mind for those writing sessions. That best selling novel you’re going to write needs your mind rested and ready to create.
Take me for example, I’ve written nine books now, tenth in the oven, all best sellers of course — okay, some copies have sold! But just think what those nine books could have been had a rested mind penned them.
So, that’s my excuse! Too much thinking! What’s your excuse?
This tenth book I’m writing should by my reckoning be a best seller. I’m sleeping well at night, so it has a rested mind working on it.
That’s what I’m thinking!
I’ve hopefully got some time to come up with another excuse after the tenth book is published.