Saturday, 26 February 2011

Sleep versus Writing...

I was fast asleep, oblivious I thought but then my sleep was disturbed. The mouse above my head made such a racket it woke me up. I wasn’t amused the last thing I needed was to lose another nights sleep. It was 2.45am. But how am I to stop the wretched creature from gnawing through the wood or cable in the attic.

I wasn’t feeling very brave and as I got up, looked at the attic hatch I dreaded the prospect of a mouse falling out and landing on my head, getting stuck in my long hair. I shuddered at the thought, shook out my shoulders however unlikely or ridiculous it might sound on reflection now.

I picked up the long handle I use to open the hatch and it hovered just beneath the point of entry. I lifted the lid and dropped it back into place quickly. The noise I made was negligible and the gnawing continued unabated. I put the bedroom light on and then I pushed the lid higher, held my breath, glanced at the floor and then let go again, hoping to make a loud racket as the lid hit home.

The noisy nibbling stopped. I got back into bed relieved and looked at the ceiling. Would now be as good as any time to start writing or should I try to get back to sleep?

In my minds eye I could see myslef sliding beneath the sheets and falling back into a peaceful sleep but here in the cold light I was awake and I began to fret what if the mouse starts to gnaw again? Not the most riveting of scenarios I admit, but it’s become quite a bad habit of mine to get up and write at night. I don’t want to lose the strand of an idea or a cracking good line that I am certain to forget once I have slept. But losing too much sleep will have a negative effect on my ability to function as many parents with new babies will attest.

Finding the balance between sleep and creativity can be a tough to crack…


  1. Well, you could get a cat and let it loose in the attic before you go to bed! Now that's the mouse sorted. As for the writing during the night, you need a little torch, a pad and pencil by your bed. I admit it's difficult to read what you've written sometimes, but it saves you waking up completely if you have an idea.
    As for the baby - aahh! What a gorgeous treasure to be disturbed by!
    Ange Barton X

  2. Ooh. Mice in the attic? Yes I agree with Ange. Get a cat, but sometimes if it works there is something peaceful about getting up in middle of the night and writing. x