I woke up wide awake at midnight two nights ago. To be fair, I did crawl into bed at 7:30--it was a rough day.
By 12:20 AM, I decided that I wasn't headed anywhere near unconsciousness, so I got up and tiptoed toward my laptop that was "sleeping" on the living room couch. I jotted down some notes for my composition class in the morning, updated some assignments, then spied the little blue W at the bottom of my screen.
My novel-in-progress. In order to avoid procrastination, I've taken to minimizing my novel manuscript instead of closing it completely. That way, no matter what thrilling things I'm doing on the computer-- grading, paying bills, shuffling through emails--I have this constant reminder that I could be adding a page or two to the sleeping universe hiding within that little blue W.
All I have to do is click on it, and I'm instantly inside this parallel world. No searching for the latest version of the manuscript, no scrolling down to the last page or getting side-tracked by a detail on page 142 that could be rewritten for the fourth time. As long as I remember to save in multiple places before I minimize the screen again, this plan is working for me. I magnify and write.
I have to say that I was delighted with the benefits of my insomnia: I wrote until 4 AM before tiptoeing back to bed and catching two more hours of sleep. I've read about other writers' designs to nip procrastination--regimented writing times, majestic oak desks, locking the kids out of the room, and (gasp!) writing at the local coffee shop--but the little blue W is working for me.