12-08-2019 4am


All my life I have suffered from insomnia. Even as a child I would wake up once or twice in the night. Sometimes I was scared, which made me need to go to the toilet but too scared to get out of bed in case someone was under it, so I lay waiting awake.
Or I would suddenly feel cold because of the air-conditioning and worry that my dolls were cold too. Then getting out of bed to cover them all up with items of clothing. Too much imagination even then.
The only time I remember sleeping well was when I had just started living by myself and had extremely short nights going out late partying and having to get up for work early next morning.
After that travelling a lot for work and having children ruined any chance of having a full night ‘s sleep for a long time. Hotel rooms always smell and feel just wrong. Not even mentioning all the sounds of other people and traffic. When after a lot of mishaps I finally had my lovely babies I was forever listening if they were alright so deep uninterrupted sleep became something I vaguely remembered as being rather nice.
Going back to work more travelling and worrying about projects plus the usual financial and offspring worries to keep sleep something other people seemed to do.
Now finally retired, kids living their own lives, I do sometimes sleep 4 hours deeply which is a great improvement on the usual 1 to 1.5 hour before.
Out of desperation I have had times that I used pills to sleep be it chemical or natural. The problems with those are that they work well for a few nights but when you then stop the insomnia seems worse!
Now I read to wear myself out and occasionally write when my head is full. I probably have the guard dog gene and people like me would be used to watch over the flock while everybody else was sleeping in pre-historic times.
The worse thing is that I can’t sleep during the day as that would make falling asleep the next night even more impossible.
I have read that I am not alone in this. In Modern society with its many stimulants more than half of the population cannot sleep well. That would be the Western world I presume. Don’t know if this is a world wide thing. I blame a restless brain. Saying that, feel sleepy again, will continue later in more civilised hours.

More reasonable hour……
My writing is coming along at a speed formerly unheard of. I have days that I write up to 5000 words. The norm is about 2000. The support and encouragement I have found on Twitter through other writers has been invaluable. Through them I found and bought this amazing software tool called Scrivener by a company called Literature and Latte, which let you plan and plot your story without the onus of having to remember each detail such as names and places and times.
It was originally coded for Mac users, but someone must have taken pity on us Windows plebs and designed it for Windows. A bonus is that it is not expensive.
When you take the time to learn the tool well it is a great help.
Every day you can see how far you got by looking at the statistics which is a great incentive. If you are a planner I definitely recommend to buy it.

In between writing, outings, painting workshops, housekeeping and other distractions naturally I have been reading.
Just finished a Science Fiction novel Monstrum, Out of Time which approached the Frankenstein theme in a whole other way with a bit of time travel thrown in. It was original and well written by E.Nicolson.
Just now saw there is a second book.
Before that another DC Smith investigation: But for the grace by Peter Grainger which was a bit dated but still good.
I tried Gnomon again by Nick Harkaway. I love all his books so don’t understand why I can’t get through the first chapter. But I am sure it will be worth it when I persevere.
‘The Gone away world ‘ took me more than one try and then it was beautiful.
In between those I am reading multiple samples. Some to check out and some as research on how to start a story.
Another tool to help me write better is the one year membership my sons gave me for my 65th birthday (yes it has happened!!, lovely birthday lunch with 20 people, nice presents, sunny day ) of Masterclass.
I have started with the courses by Margaret Atwood. Weird but wonderful.
After that I plan to learn from Neil Gaiman.
Nothing is standing in my way of finishing the book only me.

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