I have struggled with insomnia most of my life. Usually, it’s the result of a migraine, but not always and not last night. I did have a headache, I always get a headache after I finishing writing a novel… They drain me, physically and emotionally and the headache is just a reminder that I can’t live on potato chips, cigarettes, soda, and the written word.
At midnight, I took my meds like I always do. Sleepiness is a side effect of clonazepam, so it normally helps me sleep. By 2 am, I realized I still wasn’t tired, which was strange because from Sunday to Tuesday morning, I hadn’t really slept much and I didn’t take a nap Tuesday afternoon or evening.
Maybe I should back up a bit and explain my Sunday through Tuesday. Sunday afternoon, I sat down to write and watched my cursor blink for about ten minutes without putting a single word down. I do occasionally get stuck on books and it’s because whatever I want to happen, isn’t happening and I don’t know how to force it to happen.
At the time, I had twenty chapters of Flawless Dreams written. I deleted the majority of them and started over and when I started over it began to flow like manna from Heaven. I worked until the wee hours of Monday morning, crawled into bed, got a few hours of sleep, got up, helped with the great nephew all day, and as soon as he and the husband were both gone, I began to work again… after watching Lucifer because it’s just appealing to me.
I added another 12 chapters on Monday night and called it quits around 4 am. I proceeded to sleep badly because I was literally one chapter away from being done. When my alarm went off at 9 am, I jumped up and since I had a Great Nephew free day, I wrote that one chapter and had it to editor by 11:30 am.
When I looked, I had written 41,000 words in approximately 48 hours. Not a bad average at all considering all the stuff I did between writing. I patted myself on the back, took a headache pill, and couldn’t fall asleep for a nap. So, I waited, the headache got a little worse, it still wasn’t a migraine, and tried again. I was just starting to fall asleep when some jackass decided to weed eat around the flower beds under my window. I gave up on the nap and decided I’d just go to bed early (for me, that would be like 1 am).
Around 10 pm, I realized that my brain wasn’t done with it’s writing marathon and I added a few chapters to the next Dreams book. At 1 am, I called it quits with the writing, and read a chapter on a book, then played on Facebook until 2…
But at 2, I wasn’t tired. I wasn’t even a little drowsy. Which is when I decided to write this blog post.
I try very hard to keep a sleep routine. It helps with migraines. It helps with creativity. It helps me sleep. And the simple fact of the matter is the two days I ditched my routine, screwed up my sleep schedule. So, instead of sleeping at 2:30, I’m writing a blog post for the morning about how I need to get back into my regular sleep routine.
That is so much easier said than done for me though. I don’t control my creativity. I’ve never been able to control it. It happens when it happens. I can do things to help it along, but sometimes those things work and sometimes they don’t.
It doesn’t help that I am more suited to be awake after dark. I don’t know why. It hasn’t always been like this. I used to one of those early to bed, early to rise types. Now, I’m not… I sleep better during the day. When I was using my CPAP machine to record my sleep, I was noticing the same thing my FitBit was telling me; after 6 am, I fell into a deep sleep and it was interrupted by my alarm clock. Most of the time I think I would be most productive if I could sleep from 5 am to 11:30 or 12, with a nap around 5 pm.
And naps are important. Believe it or not, I actually sleep better at night if I have had a nap during the day. That seems counter-intuitive to me, but years of logging everything from what I ate to when I feel asleep and how long I stayed asleep has provided the proof that taking a nap in the afternoon makes me sleep better when I do go to bed.
However, even as a writer, I find it impossible to keep those hours. Not because of me so much, but because of those around me. My mother needs my help with the Great Nephew and Lola the Destroyer. My husband gets annoyed when I don’t come to bed at an acceptable time. For that matter, Lola the Destroyer gets annoyed when I don’t go to bed at an acceptable time. Around 3 am, if I am still awake, she starts snapping at me and shoving me off the couch… One wouldn’t think a 60 pound dog was big enough to do this, but she is.
Sleep will return to me, probably later this week. The good news is, Demonic Dreams has been started and it hit the ground the running. I have the entire story in my head already. I’m sure there will be times when it doesn’t play nicely, but for the most part, I foresee good things coming from it.
It’s getting close to 3 and Lola is beginning to glare at me. I will sign off for the night and try to get some sleep.