Jacquelynne Steves

Midnight Brain Dump Session

Today I am in “list-making” and “planning” mode. Last night, I went to bed at my usual time around 10 p.m., but I just couldn’t get to sleep. So many thoughts and ideas racing through my mind. I guess when your brain gets into that really relaxed state without any distractions, it just gets super creative. I love the creative ideas that I come up with during these late night bouts of insomnia…. but I wish I could have these ideas during the day when I’m already up! On my About page, I say that I do my best thinking at 3 a.m., but really it happens just about any time I am trying to fall asleep or wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep.

Sometimes I just try to go back to sleep and hope that I remember everything the next day (I hardly ever do either- I am rarely able to fall right back to sleep, and when I do, I don’t remember anything in the morning.) I have a notepad by my bed, but since I can’t turn on the light for fear of waking my husband, I try scribbling stuff down in complete darkness. Not particularly helpful, as it ends up looking like this:




So last night, after about an hour and a half of not being able to turn my brain off, I decided that I might as well just get up and write stuff down and get it out of my head. I came downstairs, grabbed a legal pad and a couple of pads of Post-It Notes, and started my “brain dump.” Today I need to organize and make sense of all those scribbled down notes. They include new project ideas, some older ideas that I really need to just start working on, phone calls and emails I need to do today, plan for hosting a couples’ night here at our house, plans for stuff to do with my daughter tomorrow, technical stuff that I need to do with my website, ideas for ministry stuff that I’d like to do at my church…… See??? Total BRAIN DUMP!!!!!!!!

The thing is, I should get up in the middle of the night more often! It is really when I do my best thinking. Unfortunately, it requires the need for extra caffeine the next day… And now I need a couple of clones of myself to accomplish everything on my list…..

So, I have some questions for you today:

  • *Do you have a time when you do your best thinking? When you are most creative?
  • *Does this time occur naturally, or do you “plan” it into your day? (I wish I could plan “creative thinking” time- but so far I have not been able to discipline myself to do it.)
  • *What do you do when you can’t fall asleep at night, or when you wake up in the middle of the night? Do you lay there for hours hoping to fall asleep? Count sheep? Get up and do something else??


By the way- look at what some of my peeps have been up to! Connie at Freemotion by the River made this Christmas-y table runner from my Happy Town fabric line. Honestly, I never would have thought to use the red and green prints in the line for a Christmas project!


And Sandy at Upstairs Hobby Room made these fabric covered notebooks from one of my tutorials. They came out so pretty!



If you have made a project using my fabric or patterns, send it to me and you may end up on my blog and/or Facebook page!




  • Jennifer
    Posted August 22, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    This is too funny! I definitely do not do my best thinking in the middle of the night, but I know I can’t schedule the best times to think as well – sometimes things will “hit” me while I am in the grocery store, or driving somewhere, or in the shower (places where I can’t write stuff down!).

    If I wake up in the middle of the night, I usually just lay there and hope that I will eventually get back to sleep. Sometimes I don’t and then end up really tired the next day (I guess like you are today – but I didn’t get a page full of notes like you did!).

    • Jacquelynne
      Posted August 22, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      Oh yes- I forgot about the shower! That is a great place for coming up with ideas!
      BTW- I ended up with about 3 pages of notes!!! No wonder I couldn’t sleep- my brain was in hyper-drive!!

  • Posted August 22, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    I’m like you!! It just comes when it comes!! I am learning to take a picture with my phone or put a note in my phone to remember for later! Funny thing… I’m using the Blue Blessings book shown above to write down all my ideas and projects I want to accomplish!! Thanks for the tutorial!!

    • Jacquelynne
      Posted August 22, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      I know, Sandy! You can never have enough note books lying around… they might as well be pretty :)

  • Joyce Carter
    Posted August 22, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t slept all night in a long time. I usually wake up around 3:30 and I just lay there and think until it gets daylight. My best ideas come to me at this time of night. I “design” things in my head.I think it is because everything is quiet and there isn’t anything to disrupt my thoughts. Then in the morning, I don’t have any problems putting everything down on paper.

    • Jacquelynne
      Posted August 27, 2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      I wish I could remember everything in the morning! I have to get it all down on paper before I go back to sleep!
      I sleep well about half the time- the other nights I either have a hard time falling asleep, or I fall asleep and then wake up. If only our brains had an “off” switch….

  • Faye Nettles
    Posted August 23, 2013 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Oh boy, do I ever recognize that kind of note. I have done the very same thing. I would put my finger between the lines so my thoughts wouldn’t run together and they still looked just like yours. Funny.

    • Jacquelynne
      Posted August 27, 2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Yeah most of the time my notes make no sense to me at all in the morning…

  • Posted August 23, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    I never seem to have a problem sleeping. LOL I wake up, but a change of position is usually all I need. I do think about quilt designs as i fall asleep every night, but I usually remember them too. Sorry I can’t be any help to you! Love the covered notebooks!

    • Jacquelynne
      Posted August 27, 2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      Sandie, it seems the more I design in my head, the more awake I become! I don’t know how you fall asleep while thinking about quilt designs!

  • Jacque (aka Snoodles)
    Posted August 24, 2013 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    LOL Sounds like there are a lot of us that can’t sleep like we used to…we are all creative, apparently, or at least we can say that, instead of saying we are fabric addicts! :) I, too think of quilting and designs….to fall back to sleep? I hate to sound like a total dweeb, but I lie there and pray for everyone I can think of that has told me they have a need….sometimes I am still awake as it turns light, other times I have drifted off to slumber.

    • Jacquelynne
      Posted August 27, 2013 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      I pray sometimes in the middle of the night, too, Jacque. Sometimes I feel compelled to do it- perhaps God is the One keeping me awake some nights!!

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