Incoherent Essays: Words Written Half-Awake
You too can receive incoherent essays from the morning scrawlings of my sleep-addled mind!
For the past few weeks, I’ve been waking up every morning to write 500 words. I’ve heard from so many sources that this practice, and this practice alone, is the really transformative one — the one that seems to magically unlock creative juices, and unleash the beast within, so to speak. Screenwriters, lyricists, gurus, and novelists all attest to its powers.
So I thought I’d give it a try.
This is officially something like morning pages, and there are many versions of it around. But my approach is simple: wake up at 6am, and then quickly write 500 words before I shower or eat.
Small glitch: I’m not that used to waking up at 6am. After spending eight years as a rock musician, and then the last several years as a computer programmer, my sleep cycle leans heavily into the dark parts of the dial.
So this morning, as I was writing something about the creative buildup of ideas, and then woke up a second later writing something about the new Amazon Fire phone, I realized that I had been falling asleep during the paragraph breaks.
One thing I’ve been aware of in my normal, non-6am writing, is that I like to dance on the line between coherence and incoherence. I hope that my readers, whoever they are, are able to follow along; but I also hope that the experience is something like a roller coaster, always seeming to teeter on the edge of total chaos.
If I’m successful, the readers of my normal essays might get a little whiplash, but they’ll emerge excited and energized by the experience. If I push towards incoherence too hard, then they’ll fly off the rails, and I’ll lose them forever. If I don’t push hard enough, then they’ll have had a smooth ride, but it will have been as unremarkable as the teacup ride at Disneyland.
At least, that’s how I see it. I try to stay on that line, and I’m always trying to push it just a little, always introducing a little insanity into the mix. But I try to watch the limits.
Apparently, at six in the morning, those limits go out the window. Reading back over the essays from the last few days, some of it makes perfect sense — and some of it is following a twisted and beautiful logic that only non-waking minds can really follow.
At least, that’s my guess, since I’m awake right now, and it makes no sense to me.
So here’s the deal. I thought it might be fun to share a few of these essays a week. Some of them might make a lot of sense, some of them might make no sense, and all of them will probably include obscure references and inside jokes. I’m not going to edit these, except for spelling, and maybe adding a few links to hint at what my sleep-addled mind is trying to say.
If you enjoy it, great! If you don’t enjoy it, unsubscribe at any point. And if it stops being fun for me, I stop doing it. :)
So there you go. Who’s ready for some incoherent essays?!