7 Tips for When You Get an Idea During Bedtime

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We’ve all been there.  Just as your head hits the pillow, an idea pops up.  Maybe it’s something new or maybe it’s the solution to a story you couldn’t figure out.  Either way, you’re in a dark room and starting to fall asleep.  What are some things you can do to keep the idea?

  1. Hold on tight to it and hope that it stays in your dreams.  Try to carry it through until the morning.  Sure, it’s never worked before.  There are times you even came out with an entirely different idea that wouldn’t work.  It’s not like you have the energy to crawl out of bed anyway.
  2. If you share a bed with someone, wake them up and tell them the idea.  That way, it’s on them to remember.  Go to sleep with complete faith in their memory or hope that they decide to write things down.  After all, they knew what they were getting into when they partnered up with an author.
  3. Keep your cellphone or a notebook near the bed.  Just be an adult, muster your strength, and jot down some notes.  If it costs you an hour because the idea kept rolling then so be it.  Everything is worth it as long as you can understand things in the morning and not let it drift away.  Why did you keep writing about cabbages and bandicoots?
  4. Can’t reach anything to write on?  Keep a marker under your pillow and write the notes on your own body.  The face isn’t a good idea because drool might erase parts of it and everything will be backwards in the mirror.  Limbs are okay for simple ideas, but the torso has the most space.  Only real problem is that you have to write in the dark.  Well, that and possible smearing.
  5. Just give up on sleeping.  You know this idea is going to lead to another one and you’ll regret not going down the rabbit hole.  The flow of creative juices will give you the energy needed to get the job done.  As far as functioning the next day, you have some sick days saved up, right?  The kids can just be fed by putting cereal in a bucket too, so no reason to worry.
  6. Go to sleep and see what happens.  Let fate roll the dice on this idea.  If you’re meant to use it then it will be waiting for you in the morning.  If it’s gone then it was never meant to be.  That or it will be smart enough to show up when you have the time to write it down.  Seriously, why are ideas so rude?
  7. Keep a recorder near the bed.  It isn’t writing, but it will get the job done.  Your words might be a little slurred and groggy, which is the price you’re going to pay for being an author.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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41 Responses to 7 Tips for When You Get an Idea During Bedtime

  1. All great ideas. Someday I’m going to pick one and stay prepared. hope you have a good weekend

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  2. Lol, yes, all my best ideas come right before I doink off to sleep 🙂

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  3. I actually use the #6 approach.

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  4. Judi Lynn says:

    This was too much fun! Made me laugh. Shared on my author page.

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  5. L. Marie says:

    Great tips! 😀 😁 You can also use the marker on your pillowcase if you have one with a plain pattern. Just be prepared to take the heat if someone bought the pillowcase and resented markers stains on it. 😁

    I keep my phone and a journal and pen on the table by my bed just in case inspiration strikes!

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  6. You can also repeat it over and over in your head until it’s memorized. You should still remember it in the morning. If not, your brain may have decided the idea wasn’t that good.

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  7. Mostly I practise number five. 😉 But I think number four is also a very good idea. 😀

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  8. stephaniedanielsonauthor says:

    I keep a notebook with a pen stuffed into its wire spirals on my nightstand. When inspiration strikes I snatch it up, flip on the light (or go into another room) and write until the idea has a good outline or scene.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Good ideas, Charles. 🙂 — Suzanne

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  10. #4 for me, but sometimes I know my mind is just spinning. Then I use Phillip’s idea of repeating key phrases and hoping they’ll stick.

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  11. Pingback: 7 Tips for When You Get an Idea During Bedtime – Where Genres Collide

  12. Made me smile! I like them all.

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  13. Lol–great one. I always sleep with a notebook next to me, then spend the next morning trying to decipher my hieroglyphics. Sometimes I’m even successful.

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  14. It’s good to keep a notebook by the bed. Thanks for reminding me – I haven’t done this in a while!

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  15. officialosi says:

    Number 3 is defo one I’ve started doing because more time than not I just forget it. Even now I just have that urge to write it down immediately

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