Hypna‐what?

A single, unexpected moment offered respite — and stunning progress — in an otherwise over‐busy week filled with multiple story deadlines.

It was a dreaded, dreadful week.

Until three days ago, March 7th. A moment that changed a writer’s life.

Such moments change progress and process. 

It landed in the Thursday entry in my writing diary, subtitled “Q&A a Day for Writers: 365 Questions for Creative Exploration.”

March 7th talks about Thomas Edison and his use of hypnagogia. That’s the term some call ‘mental twilight’- the liminal state between wakefulness and sleep. Edison learned early that he could take advantage of this sleep stage by dozing in a chair with a bottle in his hand. When the bottle dropped, he woke up and immediately wrote down his thoughts.

It’s a powerful, creative way to tap into our best imaginings. The liminal space holds creativity that may frighten or escape the awakened mind.

I’ve used a modified Edison technique three mornings in a row.

With a blank journal parked on my nightstand, I open its pages wide before turning off my lamp. I double‐check the black felt tip pen, placing it in the center of the pages.

At first flutter of my awakening eyelashes, I grab the pen, roll over, and write. No screening of thoughts. No judgment. Just roll and write. There’s no flashlight, either. Some notes are messy. That’s what later transcribing repairs.  

Using these liminal jottings, I have just — as in, within the last hour — completed and submitted four short stories.

I beat the submission deadline by six hours. A lifetime first.

I submitted four short stories — all fiction — at once. A second lifetime first.

Oh, and I’ve never written a short story either. Only novels or personal essays.

Hypnagogia: you heard it first from a RoadBroad.

Warning to the eager: today’s dictation arrived at 4:14 a.m.

It’s 8 p.m. and I’m going to bed.