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Now We Know Why I’m Not on the Best Seller List

Lame Post Friday follows Non-Sequitur Thursday as surely as night follows day. I can’t say as surely “as spring follows winter” because many of us here in the Mohawk Valley are wondering when spring will come if ever. Oh, I know winter won’t last forever. I’m just afraid we will skip straight to summer. However, my purpose today is not to complain about the weather but to entertain with some random observations and half-baked philosophy.

And here is where I make a note to myself: when I see something worthy of being a random observation during the week I should WRITE IT DOWN. However, thinking of that makes me remember a bit of half-baked philosophy I can share. At least, I don’t know how philosophical it is. It is a hoary piece of writer advice you see everywhere, and I would like to address it.

Keep a notebook by your bed, the advice says. When you come up with a brilliant idea in the middle of the night — perhaps in a dream — you can make an immediate note of it. You will most likely not remember it in the morning. As far as that goes, it is true. I often wake up from a dream, think, “What a great novel that would make!” Then fall back asleep and forget it.

Once in a while, though, I do remember it. I’ve even been known to go so far as to write it down. Guess what? When I look at it in the morning, I find out that it ain’t so brilliant after all. When it makes sense at all. When I can read my own handwriting.

I suppose it is still good advice to write it down. After all, what if it really is brilliant? In that case I might like to remember it. So noted. In fact, I do sleep with a notebook and pen handy. Also, at least one book, a flashlight, my Bible, a handkerchief and a bottle of water (in case anybody was making comparisons with their own bedside).

However, all my life I have suffered from insomnia. The older I get, the more unhappy it makes me the next day. Therefore, I confess that I do not often waste time chasing down elusive writing ideas when to me the operative thing to do is to go back to sleep.

And now the operative thing to do is to go back to enjoying my Friday. I hope you are doing the same.

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