writing, insomnia, and schizophrenia
After a particularly productive day of writing, John Steinbeck (in Journal of a Novel) conjectured as to the reasons why:
I think I have a large key. I did not sleep last night and I look forward to those nights of discovery. I have one about once a week. And after everyone is asleep there is such quiet and peace, and it is during this time that I can explore every land and trail of thinking. Conjecture. Sometime I will tell you about this in detail [speaking to his editor]. I split myself into three people. I know what they look like. One speculates and one critisises and the third tries to correlate. It usually turns out to be a fight but out of it comes the whole week’s work. And it is carried on in my mind in dialogue. It is an odd experience. Under certain circumstances it might be one of those schizophrenic symptoms but as a working technique, I do not think it is bad at all.
I can relate to important ideas coming at night in similar fashion, though have not advanced to the kind of (positively schizophrenic) dialogue mentioned above. Interesting.