The Midnight Muse, or... Why I Wish I Owned a Pensieve

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JustAnotherJen
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The Midnight Muse, or... Why I Wish I Owned a Pensieve

Post by JustAnotherJen » July 27th, 2011, 1:31 am

Why, oh why do I have to get great ideas when I'm trying to fall asleep? It's such a problem since it generally leads to my mind racing in all sorts of new directions. But it happens to me all too frequently. In fact, some of my best ideas have come in the middle of the night, and other times when I had hit a wall in a story the resolution would present itself to me at night. It must be something about being relaxed and my mind being a little more free than it is during the day when it's also thinking about paying bills, getting laundry done, working, etc. Anyway, I shouldn't complain because I'm just glad the muse visits me at all. I just wish we could come to some sort of agreement on scheduling those visits. :) In the meanwhile, ever since I read the Harry Potter books I find myself wishing for a Pensieve. Of all the magical things she created in those books, that's the one I want the most. I envision myself reaching over to my nightstand for my wand, pulling my genius ideas out of my head, and tapping them into my pensieve to ponder on and explore during the daylight hours. Unfortunately, I don't think anyone's actually figured out how to make one of these yet. ;) In the meanwhile, I'll keep getting up in the middle of the night to write down ideas that are too good to risk forgetting. And sleep... well, it'll just have to wait until the muse goes away.

I'm curious about what others think... When is the most inconvenient time the muse visits you? How do you deal with it? Or, if you're like me and get ideas in the night, do you get up and scribble them down or wait until morning? I think genius strikes us all in different ways and different times and I'm just curious what it's like for others.
:)

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Re: The Midnight Muse, or... Why I Wish I Owned a Pensieve

Post by Beethovenfan » July 27th, 2011, 3:54 am

My most inconvenient time is in the shower. There's something about the noise of the water and the way I relax under the spray that just send the ideas to me. Do know how difficult it is to write something down when you are sopping wet?? I try to just remember the ideas and hurry up and be done before they vanish. Sometimes I make it, and sometimes I don't. :|
"Don't only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine."
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Re: The Midnight Muse, or... Why I Wish I Owned a Pensieve

Post by CharleeVale » July 27th, 2011, 4:14 am

Actually, I know the reason why we get ideas while we're falling asleep!

When we're awake, we're only capable of using one hemisphere of our brain at a time, for either left brain or right brain tasks. When we're falling asleep is the only time our mind lowers that barrier so both hemispheres can work simultaneously. One our creative side meets our logical side like that--POOF! tons of ideas right as we're drifting off.

It doesn't make it any less frustrating, but at least you know why!

CV

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Re: The Midnight Muse, or... Why I Wish I Owned a Pensieve

Post by Nicole R » July 27th, 2011, 9:45 am

I blogged about the pensieve idea a few weeks ago, too! It would be so incredibly wonderful and helpful for writers. :P

Since we can't have the pensieve, I keep a mini tape recorder and lots of post-its near my bed instead. That way, I don't even have to get up if I have an I idea; I can just roll over and jot it down. It's worked really well for me so far. And it's sad how much I've come to rely on those just-falling-asleep ideas!

BeethovenFan, I agree about the shower thing. It's so bad that, sometimes, when I'm stumped I purposely jump in the shower to get the ideas flowing. :D

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JustAnotherJen
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Re: The Midnight Muse, or... Why I Wish I Owned a Pensieve

Post by JustAnotherJen » July 27th, 2011, 11:40 am

In the shower... yes, I can see how that would be problematic. :) Nicole, I laughed out loud when I read that you'll jump in the shower just to get the ideas flowing. That's hilarious. And yet... I can relate in a way. When I'm particularly stumped by something and can't figure it out, I've been known to lie down on the couch and close my eyes. I'm not necessarily trying to fall asleep, I just want the ideas to come. Charlee, thanks for your explanation. I had no idea that's how it worked, but it makes sense, and it's good to understand why it keeps happening.

I realized I thought of another inconvenient time the muse visits me: in the middle of church. I can't tell you how often I'll be sitting there scribbling away instead of paying attention. :)

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Re: The Midnight Muse, or... Why I Wish I Owned a Pensieve

Post by washingtonwriter1968 » July 27th, 2011, 1:12 pm

Oh my God Jen!
And I thought I was the only one who does my most creative writing in church! I get so :oops: when it happens. We will be right in the middle of Praise and worship and poof there it goes!I will sit and start scribbling the thoughts down. My husband used to look at me like what are you doing? I would just smile and shrug my shoulders.

Another time that I will get the inspirational muse is immediately after.... you know.... :oops: especially when it is about romance.
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Re: The Midnight Muse, or... Why I Wish I Owned a Pensieve

Post by dios4vida » July 28th, 2011, 11:35 am

Wow, church! I've never had a muse visit me in church. I didn't know it was possible - like the muse was intimidated by God or something ;) . That's rather amusing. And washingtonwriter, the inspiration after...umm...yeah...well, I can't say I've ever had that happen but it sure made me laugh.

I'm a definite shower-inspiration person. We mentioned that in another thread and at the risk of repeating myself I'll give this thread the same idea I gave the other: get yourself some grease pencils from the office supply store, or eyeliner if you have plethoras of free samples like I did (and I don't even wear make-up!). You can write directly on the shower walls with those, the water won't wash it off, but it comes off super easily with some rubbing alcohol. You never have to miss a shower idea ever again!!

The other place I get inspiration is, conveniently, in my office (at home, it's more of a writing sanctuary. I call it my Room of Sacred Things because it's where I have all the goofy little things that I love and/or inspire me. I also have 4x4 foot dry erase boards for my notes and outlines. It's a very strange place for those who don't understand me or the creative process of writing). For instance, I'm working on finishing up the ending of the first draft of my WIP - I'm so close I can taste it, then I'll have a cohesive plot and can start on the rewrites. Two days ago I was sitting here and went "hmm...that's a great first sentence!" So I wrote it down. "How would I follow that up? Oh, like this." Two more sentences. 650 words later I realized that I had no intention of rewriting my beginning until I'd finished. It just came. And I've gotta say, I'm in love with my first sentence. I think it's the best I've ever written. :D
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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JustAnotherJen
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Re: The Midnight Muse, or... Why I Wish I Owned a Pensieve

Post by JustAnotherJen » July 28th, 2011, 1:16 pm

Brenda, I totally relate to falling in love with sentences. For me, a month or so ago, it was actually the last sentence of my WIP. And it just came to me and I couldn't stop thinking about it, and I wrote backwards and figured out most of my last chapter. And I just LOVE that last sentence!! As for your Room of Sacred Things, well... it just sounds awesome! I'd love to see pictures! I think having a creative space that speaks to who we are individually is so helpful in the creative process.

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Re: The Midnight Muse, or... Why I Wish I Owned a Pensieve

Post by oldhousejunkie » July 28th, 2011, 1:29 pm

My most incovenient time would be when I've left my flash drive at work and I can't pick up writing where I left off.

But I have a feeling that it will soon be when I'm at work since I'm about to change jobs and won't be able to spend a hour or two (or three) writing during the day. :-)

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Re: The Midnight Muse, or... Why I Wish I Owned a Pensieve

Post by polymath » July 28th, 2011, 1:57 pm

Is there anything so real-world close to a pensieve as a computer? Add digital audiovisual peripherals and . . . Is there really a difference?
Spread the love of written word.

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Re: The Midnight Muse, or... Why I Wish I Owned a Pensieve

Post by AveryMarsh » July 28th, 2011, 2:07 pm

My muse has been the kindest to me between the hours of 12am and 3am, after my husband and all five children go to bed. I have to force myself to go to bed because I feel like without distractions, I could write all night. And even when I do finally hit the pillow, I have the hardest time shutting my brain off. So either way, by the time everyone else wakes up, I'm useless.

I keep a notepad and a pen/pencil/crayon on my nightstand so I can groggily jot down anything that pops in my mind as I'm dozing off. The really interesting part comes the next morning when I try to decipher the notes I'd scribbled blindly in the dark.

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Re: The Midnight Muse, or... Why I Wish I Owned a Pensieve

Post by dios4vida » July 28th, 2011, 2:10 pm

Very random question for you nighttime scribblers: Do you guys have troubles writing when you wake up or are about to fall asleep? I tried doing that but when I tried to take notes in the middle of the night I physically could not make my fingers write. I have a lot of severe damage to the nerves and tendons in my hands so I'm wondering if it's because of that that I can't write in the middle of the night or if it's normal. And if it's normal, how do y'all do it?
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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Re: The Midnight Muse, or... Why I Wish I Owned a Pensieve

Post by Cookie » July 28th, 2011, 3:29 pm

dios4vida wrote:Very random question for you nighttime scribblers: Do you guys have troubles writing when you wake up or are about to fall asleep? I tried doing that but when I tried to take notes in the middle of the night I physically could not make my fingers write. I have a lot of severe damage to the nerves and tendons in my hands so I'm wondering if it's because of that that I can't write in the middle of the night or if it's normal. And if it's normal, how do y'all do it?
Scribbles. My writing look likes scribbles. That I have to decode later using nothing more than logic and some very lucky guessing.

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Re: The Midnight Muse, or... Why I Wish I Owned a Pensieve

Post by JustAnotherJen » July 28th, 2011, 3:58 pm

Polymath, while I love the convenience of a computer, a pensieve would be almost instantaneous. That's a whole other level of convenience! A simple tap of the wand, versus twenty minutes of typing (which involves getting out of bed, too). I'd prefer the quick and easy solution that is less disruptive for my sleep pattern. Not that it's an option... :(

AveryMarsh, a crayon? Really? If my late night scribble had been written in crayon there would simply be no hope for deciphering it in the morning!

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Re: The Midnight Muse, or... Why I Wish I Owned a Pensieve

Post by washingtonwriter1968 » July 28th, 2011, 4:24 pm

OK I finally have some advice I can give to the middle of the night pencil scribblers...
I have the answer that works for me and might help you. I bought one of those small and hand held voice recorders. It sits beside my bed. When I have an idea be it in my dreams or as I fall asleep I press my buttons and speak into the mike.

It truly feels most like a pensive. No typing to wake me up. The hardest part of this solution is when I am just on the tip of going to sleep. that is when I slur my speech the most; and then there is the snoring afterwards. I have literally fallen asleep with my "pensive" as I call it on :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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