Something odd happens to me when I’m writing the first draft of a book. I’m desperate to get it from my brain to the computer. I have a word count goal of 5000 words per day, which is doable. But what happens – the weird stuff – is that I begin a three hour sleep schedule.
During the day, I sometimes get exhausted and have to take a nap. Then, I wake three hours later. Even if the fatigue doesn’t happen to me during the day, I go to sleep at the normal time and wake three hours later.
When the first draft is over, I go back to sleeping 8-9 hours per night. But this three hour business is just funny. It happens with every book.
Also, I start having these really odd dreams. I dream in story lines; I always have. But these dreams are startlingly real, even if bizarre.
For example, last night I dreamed the plumbers repaired the kitchen sink. However, after they left, I turned on the faucet. I glanced down, to my left, to discover that my cabinets were filled with water. Then, the dishes disappeared and they became file cabinets and all my important papers were waterlogged. I can remember pulling out my cell phone and dialing the number – even remember the number. I recall the conversation with the plumbers, word for word.
Then, this zombie woman attacked me in the kitchen, and I had a choke hold on her and had to be careful not to break her neck – again. She had short brown hair and really dark circles under her eyes. While I was waiting for the plumbers, I decided to take out my stomach and spleen (I know, I know), then put it back it when I decided that major surgery wasn’t my strength. I just swallowed everything and it went back into place.
The plumbers came, they talked to a few customers – can still recall all those conversations – then were convinced to drain the water from my cabinets.
The dream itself is filled with all sorts of symbolism, if you’re into that sort of thing. I just love the fact that while I’m dreaming, I’m making notes of everything that’s happening, as if I’m an observer.
The whole process of writing a first draft is amazing – not the least of which is what happens to my mind.
But I’m still wondering about the zombie – she seemed so familiar…