Making the Most of Insomnia...

If you're reading this, it must be some time between 3 -5 am and I am up listening to Vampire Weekend's new song "Harmony Hill" on repeat.

I've written 2 poems and answered a few emails. I haven't spoken to anyone in 36 hours, and this is the gift of the writing residency. I wonder--what if I didn't talk to people for days in real life, would I have more to write? It seems the less I talk, the more I have to say when I write.

I know it would be almost impossible to achieve this at home, but it encourages me on my next retreat to see how long I could go without speaking.

Solitude, when chosen, is a gift. 

Solitude, when forced upon someone, is a punishment. 
Solitude, when not wanted, is loneliness in disguise. 

I keep thinking that I'm going to have to title this blog post and that weirdly tires me. Or maybe I'm tired because I'm typing this at 4:45 am. 

I've started using my insomnia for good. If you ever get an email from me, check the date stamp, many times it's written when the city is sleeping. I've decided because most nights I can't sleep from 2-4 or 3-5, I will use this time to do all the things I hate to do in the daylight, like answer emails.

When I was in my 20s, I used to clean my house from 11 pm - 1 am in the morning, I'd be cranky and achy and just wanting to sleep--and yet, I'm up folding clothes, scrubbing the sink. I'd fall into to bed so tired and the next day I'd wake up and it would be as if elves cleaned the house while I slept. Like when I wake up in a few hours, I'll have 2 new poems and a clear inbox. 

Sometimes you just have to make the most of the time you have. Insomnia becomes productivity. Productivity becomes a Vampire. Vampire Weekend singing I don't wanna live like this, but I don't wanna die, until you crawl back into bed...



  1. Kelli: Apt choice of music for early morning lucubrations. Just a quick note to let you know that I liked your poem In the Spring issue of Prairie Schooner. David Sahner

  2. During the holidays between terms (I work in education) I try to be totally relaxed about waking at night. I don't need to be up first thing so when I wake up in the night I see it as an opportunity to chill out, listen to stuff, read, drink tea, etc. I don't like doing practical things (like answering emails) though. As a musician, my only regret is that playing the piano at 3am is clearly antisocial so I have to restrain myself !


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