I woke up and the word “insouciance” floated into my mind of its own free will. The bedroom was dark and slightly too hot, and I had the vague feeling that it was the middle of the night, but otherwise my time sense deserted me.

Insouciance. I lay in bed a moment, wondering why I was even thinking about that word. I hadn’t even been writing anything earlier in the day. I thought about the word and what it means, realizing that although I could use it in a sentence I couldn’t really explain — even to myself — exactly what it meant. So I began to wonder what the official dictionary definition would be, even though I really didn’t feel like climbing out of bed to go read my dictionary.

But I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It was as though my mind was operating in overdrive. I told myself that maybe I just needed to go to the bathroom and get some water, but I didn’t want to get out of bed. Even the heat wasn’t enough to move me out from under the covers, but I couldn’t stop thinking so I finally slid out of bed, got some water, and then slipped across the hallway to my office.

I turned the light on low, but it was too dark to read and so I hit the switch to full intensity, read the definition of “insouciance,” and closed the dictionary and slipped it back into place on the bookshelf.

I let myself back into the bedroom but I misjudged how much pressure to use on the door, and it ended up closing loudly enough to wake my husband. He asked me why I had gone to the guest bathroom instead of the master bath, and I answered that I had used the master bath but then I had to go and look up a word. I said, “My mind won’t shut up.”

Several times during the night I woke up again, clear-minded and thinking about some aspect of writing, only to drift back to sleep. I can’t say I didn’t get a good night’s rest because each time I woke up I felt really good. Even when I got up at 5:30 this morning.

I’m not sure what got this writing jag started, but it’s morning now and I still seem to be energized. I did two exercises from a life writing book that I bought, and then I wrote down this little episode about insouciance, which amounted to about five pages in my new writing journal. When I got into the office early this morning, I wrote an article for eHow and published it, then I turned to Focal Plane and wrote this. And I’m still going.

They say that keeping a writing journal and writing regularly is the key to unlocking creativity and improving your writing. If my writing drive today is any indication of the success of journaling, then I might need to go to the office supply store and stock up on some more blank books. See you in the next post.