Welcome Back, Mara!

Last night I had wicked insomnia.  This wasn’t the usual “brain won’t shut up” version that keeps me from falling asleep in the first place.  No, this was a middle of the night, panicked and guilt-laced litany of the things I forgot to do that were suddenly going to loom large.  Telling myself that I could deal with it in the morning didn’t help.  Even getting up to look at the list of deadlines (only one of which I missed; thanks for the exaggerated panic, brain) did little to still the hamster wheel.

As I usually do when I can’t get my mind out of a nocturnal loop pattern, I turned to my creativity.  Creating story or developing characters can be a great way for me to bring my flailing conscious back to a calmer, more focused place.  A quiet focus on one mental task is usually just what it takes to get to sleep.  (That’s why counting sheep has the reputation that it does; counting backward from 300 by threes is also a good one.)

Last night I had a pleasant surprise as I called upon my writing mind to help lull me into rest; Mara reappeared!  For the past six weeks, my brain has been so full of work and stress that my characters had run in fear.  I rarely needed to work on story to sleep – I was physically and mentally worn out – but when I did, the best I could manage was a rudimentary love story with characters so flat they didn’t even ask for names.  It was so nice to finally bring out some of the people who I need to continue my current project.  I even had some good inspiration for a scene in Mara’s tale!

It feels like I’m finally getting back to a place that will let me bring out my creative side more often, and Mara’s reemergence last night is a great sign.