Thursday, November 29, 2012

Writing fiction causes insomnia

It’s official. Writing novels interferes with your sleep. You have a great meeting with your co-author and agree what is wrong and what is right with the book, and what needs changing and who is going to do it and by when, and then that night you can’t switch your brain off. It is alive with characters and scenes and dialogue – old and new and proposed – and in the end you give up and watch comedy on your laptop and think: How am I going to get through tomorrow with only half as much sleep as I need? I have to drive to Newark (possibly through floods) to see my big sister, and to work on the cover production with my brother in law. Oh dear.

But then you think about your characters again – whom you love – and think, Well, this won’t be forever, and I shall miss them so much when the book is finished, and miss the fun of writing them into impossible situations and seeing how they manage to wriggle out of them. Yep, being a novelist is like playing God, but I don’t think God needs eight hours sleep. Or maybe he does, and that’s why the world is in such a mess.

Talking of which, if you want to know why most Americans don’t understand the problems of Palestine, you could read this excellent article.

No comments: