Story Ideas: An Unexpected 2am Brainstorming Session

As a writer, it can be very frustrating when ideas pop up at inopportune times, like when you should be sleeping or spending time with your family. Last night, or rather early this morning, was one of those times for me.

At 2am this morning, when I should have been sleeping, I was wide awake, twiddling my thumbs and pondering whether or not I should get up and watch an episode of True Blood. I was tired, but my body wouldn’t let me fall asleep. It was irritating me, and I was looking for a distraction.

Well, I sure got one!

While I lay there under my nice, warm blankets, I felt the beginnings of an idea tickling the edges of my mind, dancing around just out of my reach, as though it were saying “Here I am. Catch me if you can.”

Slowly, that taunting little troublemaker moved forward, and I was finally able to grasp ahold of it. As frustrated as I was about being awake when the rest of the house was sound asleep, I was also very excited by this new idea, which probably contributed to the fact that I never fell back to sleep. Once I start brainstorming, it’s hard to turn my brain off.

Sure, I could have just chosen to ignore that pesky little idea when it first started toying with me, and spent that time drooling over Alexander Skarsgård until my lids grew droopy. But had I done that, I would have ended up very disappointed with myself because I didn’t chase after an idea that could have been great with some tender love and care.

In all honesty, I would have missed out on two ideas because my initial brainstorming session led to another one. Needless to say, I’ve got to get working on both of these little nuggets. I’m anxious to see if they’ll turn into something special.

If you’re a fellow writer/artist/creative mind, tell me about some of your brainstorming sessions. Do you have them in the middle of the night too? During the day? When?

This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 8th, 2011 at 09:53 and is filed under Writing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


  1. Bailey says:

    I find I get some of my best ideas, problem solutions, and general thinking done as I drift off to sleep.

    ... on July February 8th, 2011
  2. Nikki says:

    Me too, which is okay, to some extent. But some sleep would be nice too.

    ... on July February 8th, 2011
  3. Chrystal says:

    I have them at all hours, all times. I try to make sure a voice recorder or notebook is always in reach in case I need to get an idea out there.

    ... on July February 8th, 2011
  4. Angie - The Work at Home Wife says:

    I have also starting keeping a notepad on my nightstand. Mine don’t wake me, instead they occur when I’m trying to fall asleep.

    I read an eBook on writing faster awhile back, and one of their tips was to write when you are a bit tired. You are far more creative when your brain hasn’t gotten to that fully awake stage where you are second guessing, fighting your instincts, etc. You just do it.

    ... on July February 8th, 2011
  5. tashabud says:

    Enjoyed reading your post. Many ideas come to me at all times, but never have the time to write them down. I’m always on the go. And when I sit down to write, I get preoccupied writing other stuff instead.

    ... on July February 8th, 2011
  6. Daisy says:

    Ideas for blog posts hit me at all times. I don’t consider myself a “writer” like you are. Rather, I consider myself more of a jotting down of ideas. Some of my best articles and posts don’t come when I’m a little tired. As odd as it sounds, if I can read out loud while I am typing, that helps me. Looks odd LOL and it’s a good thing I’m not out in public creating posts. tee hee

    ... on July February 8th, 2011
  7. Nikki says:

    It’s not odd that you read outloud while typing. A lot of people do that because it helps you catch mistakes. I do it. In fact, while I was writing this post, my son came up and asked me who I was talking to. I told him myself.

    ... on July February 9th, 2011
  8. Edward G. Talbot says:

    I definitely have ideas in the middle of the night, often right when I wake up from a dream or something. Usually they aren’t full ideas, they are anything from a single line to a twist or two within something larger. Sometimes I get up and write them down, sometimes I don’t, depends on how tired I am.

    The other place where I get ideas the most is while reading. I read a lot of books with twists, so as my mind is processing where the book might go next, it will often head off on a completely different tangent with a new idea.

    ... on July February 9th, 2011
  9. Nikki says:

    I’ve had that happen when reading a book too! Or listening to a song. Sometimes I’ll have an idea after waking up from a dream. Then a song will help develop it further. Honestly, my ideas can come at any time. It’s like dealing with a rapidly changing moodswing.

    ... on July February 9th, 2011
  10. Ash says:

    Ah, the middle of the night brain-storming session! For me, it’s either in the middle of the night, or while taking a long hot bubble bath. That is when the ideas hit me. Or, while watching a movie. I usually will get up and write it all down, except for this winter, which has been unusually cold and staying in my warm bed wins out!
    You have a beautiful blog! Glad I stopped by!

    ... on July February 9th, 2011
  11. Nikki says:

    Thanks, Ash, for the compliment on my site. I wanted something that appealing to the eye, but worked well with ads. I literally searched for hours before finding this layout, which accomplishes exactly what I wanted it to.

    I also have brainstorming sessions when I take bubble baths. It’s such a nice way to relax and just let the ideas flow through you.

    ... on July February 9th, 2011

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