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Hello Dear Readers,

I’d like to be better in bed. No, not that way – get your mind out of the gutter! I mean that I’d like to spend more time in bed. Asleep.

During reasonable hours.

I was always that little kid who didn’t want to go to bed. I seem to remember my dad bribing me with piggyback rides, but I also remember a lot of books read under the covers with flashlights. I’d throw a blanket over my little black-and-white television to block its tell-tale glow, and peep underneath to watch late-night Canadian programming. Anyone else remember He Shoots, He Scores or Remington Steele? I thought Pierce Brosnan was quite the babe back then. He may have been my very first crush.
Once I finished college and began life as a freelance journalist, I was thrilled to be able to set my own schedule. I stayed up until 4 a.m. , slept until noon, did a few hours of work and then headed to the dojo at 4 p.m. I was able to make quite a nice living that way, and I never felt sleep-deprived. Of course, my novel writing went on hiatus for years.
Unless you can find night-shift work, companies don’t embrace the kind of hours I like to keep. And just like I didn’t cut back on my spending when I started working for “The Man,” I didn’t change my sleep patterns either. I still stay up way too late and usually end up falling asleep on the couch, finally stumbling bleary-eyed to my bedroom at 4 a.m. I’m still that little kid who doesn’t want to go to bed for fear I might miss something. I love the feeling of being awake when the rest of the world is asleep.
The obvious problem is that if I’m going to bed late, I’m not getting up at six a.m. to write. Some people have suggested I write at night, but too much can go wrong during the evening. Unexpected plans, headaches, exhaustion…there’s too many obstacles that can keep me from achieving my goals. Consistently going to bed at ten p.m. will be one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever faced. For years I’ve had people tell me that I should go to bed earlier, and I’ve argued passionately against it. A ten p.m. bedtime will become even more difficult when I return to kickboxing, which means not getting home until 7:30 at night.
As for the writing end of things, not much to report. I was exhausted yesterday, but still went to bed too late, so I slept through the six a.m. alarm and now have to do the outlining thing when I get home tonight. Not feeling optimistic. Any other night owls finding it difficult to leave the life of constant sleep deprivation?
Thanks for reading!
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  1. Kim

    The solution I have you will not like…. have children…lol… then there is no such thing as spontaneous plans. You can’t leave the house. I wrote two novels when my kids went to bed. Then I started excessivly exercising and something had to go. The writing. But I anticipate that is only temporary. It’ll be back when it calls loudly enough. When it calls loudly enough, you can’t ignore it and it doesn’t matter what other activities get in the way. The writing will win.

    I am more of a night owl myself but night shift is definately not the answer. I didn’t tolerate that either. It is one thing to be working doing what you want to do; it is another thing to be working doing what someone else wants you to do or what needs to be done. 4 AM is still a wall of exaustion when working night shift but you can’t go to bed…. in my case, that meant lives were at stake.

    Good title for the blog though, you got my attention! 😉

    Oh, and have you checked out my blog, BTW?

  2. Polly

    Interesting – I love the feeling that I’m up while everyone else is still sleeping! And writing in the morning means whatever else happens that day, you know you accomplished that.

    One thing that might help is to initiate a time (8 pm? 9 pm?) when computer and tv go off. Are you eating when you get home from the dojo? Could you eat before and then only have a little snack when you get home?

    Good luck!

  3. Story Teller

    Hey Kim – having kids is definitely *NOT* in the cards, so that solution won’t work for me. But honestly, I think I’d have even less time for writing if I was a parent. I have no idea how you people accomplish everything!

    Polly – After I get home from kickboxing, I multitask by eating dinner in the tub. 🙂 I definitely have to wash up after a class, and even if I eat beforehand, I still have to have something afterwards. I don’t typically watch TV, and I avoid the computer most evenings. It’s reading in the tub that kills me. It’s always “just one more chapter…”


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