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Insomnia visits me often and usually for one reason: a book — the one I happen to be writing.
My eyes snap open and tangled plot lines writhe before them like snakes. Colorless characters lurch around like sad paper dolls. And my careful, considered structures, painstakingly built during daylight hours, teeter and collapse.
I used to fight insomnia hard, closing my eyes, tossing and turning and punching my pillow, but lately I’ve been trying a new strategy: surrender.
Now I stare straight ahead at a window I can’t see. And in the darkness, so absolute, so unnervingly quiet, some deeper vision sharpens and reveals what the daylit hours hid from me. I start to tease a plot line free. A character lays her heart bare. A shaky foundation is shored up.
Minutes pass, then hours. Little by little, light fills the window, showing me what I knew was there all along.
I just needed the darkness to see it.