I was up until two in the morning putting thoughts on paper. A new story, completely separate from the science fiction world in which I have been living for the past few years. I finally broke down and bought a journal to shelter these new characters, mostly with a wish to get them out of my head so I can finish the other books.
The reason I started writing all those years ago was to be able to sleep. To end the reruns of scenes playing out before my eyes. To quiet the voices dialoguing in my head. Characters who torment me with their lives until I give them resolution, then return to make sure things played out right. How many times depends on the scene, the story and the characters. Some torment me for days, others for months and years. Until I write them down.
Hence, I collect journals. Each houses their own set of characters, living their own intricate lives. Most of the time the scenes are placed on the page in the order they popped into my head. This time I waited until the story thread was complete, until I knew where they came from and where they finished, even if the details are still vague.
I started at the beginning and wrote all the way to the end, noticing the ink flowing on the page more than the minutes flying through the clock. For four hours I let my hand outline the events, adding detail only when I had a clear picture of what was happening. I noted questions to answer later; I summarized when I just knew where I wanted the characters to go. By the end I was exhausted, drained, but relieved. I could sleep.