at my wit’s end

Originally posted on May 25, 2010 at 4:04 PM

When I went to line camp my freshman year of drill team, I remember dancing in my sleep. That week of learning dances and practicing sometimes 20 hours a day sank so deeply into my brain that even in my dreams I was working on the moves I’d learned. It was exhausting, really. In fact, I remember one morning when my alarm clock went off at some ungodly hour, I actually danced out of bed. I know it sounds like some cheesy metaphor, but I’m serious. The sound woke me and my arms and legs flailed in some sort of mid-motion arabesque and it took me a moment to fully wake and be embarrassed. Because I had a roommate, and she was older and she didn’t dance out of bed.

At officer camp, too, my senior year (which turned out to be about 10 times harder than line camp was that first year, even though at that time I’d thought I would die), we all danced in our 3-4 hour nights’ rest. I specifically remember being kicked heartily in the shin several times by my bedmate. We were so deeply ingrained in the process, that I found myself counting as I shampooed. 5-6-7-8, and then I’d scrub on beat.

Again, when I got a job at Sonic as a carhop, I had to learn to make all of the drink combos for the first few days. I was scooping ice in my dreams, and raising my hands overhead to grab the cups. Something about being that dedicated to something for days at a time tricks your mind. And when you finally get a break—you get to go to bed and think you don’t have to do that anymore—your brain can’t stop.

That’s me lately with novel writing. I’m clocking over 3,000 words daily (about twice as much as the original goal of 1,667/day), and last night in particular, I kept waking up from dreams where I was plotting in my head. Working out kinks, coming up with new ideas that were actually bizarre and crazy but seemed good at the time. I even found myself stringing together prose and editing it as I “typed.” My characters were the same, but they started doing crazy stuff that I hadn’t planned. Too weird.

And I found it every bit as exhausting as the dancing and drink-making had been. I love my job, I really do. Some days it’s hard to make myself sit down and work, but almost always, once I do it’s a blast for me. But I don’t want to do it when I’m not doing it! I need some breaks, some times to replenish my muse with other things. A girl can only write so much. Geeze. Take a chill pill, brain.

Share this:
This entry was posted in My Process and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.