Tonight was a bad pain night. That meant I took painkillers and went to bed early. Not ridiculously early, but I was asleep by probably about 9:00.

Not bad. It’s picture day tomorrow. I have to flat-iron 2 kids’ hair in the morning and take another for a hair cut first thing. (I normally cut her hair – she’s Mohawk girl – but my body was in too much pain for me to stand long enough to do that, so hair dresser in the morning it is.) This means an early morning. So an early night was really pretty exciting.

Until Revenge of the Post-Nasal Drip happened.

I won’t relive the whole sordid ordeal here. By all means, read the other post if you want the delightful details.

In any case, come 10:00, I had a child screaming at me in my bedroom. For half an hour. Needless to say, I was fairly wide awake at the end of it. Kid #1 said kindly to me, “At least it’s only 10:30, not, like, 2:00 in the morning!”

The problem is, once I’ve been that deeply asleep, and woken that completely, my chances of returning to the land of slumber is greatly diminished.

Now what?

Well, insomnia’s a bitch. I know that lots of you know all too well what I’m talking about.

But, that said, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with my insomnia. Sometimes I’m just dried up, and all I can do is read (actually, listen to audiobooks). But other times, magic happens. This is when my muse is the most likely to visit.

The muse doesn’t shout, she whispers. If you heed her call, she is more likely to return in the future. If you ignore her, she gets pissed and can abandon you for months on end. Don’t piss off your muse. She is the magic lady.

Nighttime is where my muse lives. Whether during insomnia, or rousing me herself out of a lovely sleep, she can be insistent, or barely whisper in my ear. It might be a song idea, a lyric idea, it might be a blog post, a business idea, or any number of other creative ideas.

But I have learned the hard way – many times over – to sleep with a pen and paper beside my bed. At worst, I always have Evernote or Notes apps in my iPhone to quickly jot down ideas. Because here’s the kicker:

If you decide to roll over and go back to sleep, thinking you’ll write it down in the morning? Come morning, invariably your idea will have vaporized. Poof. Gone. Never to return.

And you will have pissed off your muse.

Tonight I did not piss off my muse. I listened. I typed out and then edited two full blog posts on my phone. (Just think how mad my texting chops are, yo.) Because she wasn’t whispering tonight. She was poking me in the shoulder. She arrived in the form of a ten year old child screaming at my bedside for half an hour until I woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep.

And so I give thanks to the muses. They are the magic. We are the channels, the vessels.

Open up and scribe.