Why Fiction Writers Never Truly Sleep

It’s pretty common at writing conferences to see writers somewhat bleary-eyed in the mornings, carrying their favorite legal addictive stimulant.  Johnny Worthen’s favorite is a good coffee (at least according to him).  David Farland (Wolverton) can often be seen with a Diet Dr. Pepper.

Seeing this, one might ask why fiction writers are always so tired.

Well, I wish I could tell you it was because we’re all up really late into the night or early morning, busy typing or writing away at our most recent (and most brliiant) writing project.  I wish I could tell you it was because we have great social lives and are up late with friends, fans, and paparazzi (*cough – no comment).  But it’s not any of those things (usually).

I’ll let you in on a little secret – so shhhh, don’t tell anyone – fiction writers are only half awake to begin with.

Wait, we are?

Authors of fiction live with one foot in another realm.  That is the nature of their craft.  The worlds, characters, and happenings of the novels they write are not real outside of the author’s (and readers’) minds.  They (or should I say “we”) live half in and half out of our own reality.  The same thing happens when “normal” (non-fiction authors) sleep – they enter a dream state where anything can and does happen.

So if you run across an author chugging away at some liquid stimulant (or who just looks a little tired), ask them what is playing through their minds.  It just may surprise you what they have to say (and it will help us “half-asleepers” bring ourselves somewhat back to this reality).

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