Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Sleeping vs Writing

I read this post on healthy writing habits by YA author, Bree Despain. It's made me think more about my own writing habits. Fortunately, I haven't formed an eating-while-I-write habit. Of course, I've never written on a deadline, and I imagine the stress of a deadline drives bad eating habits. (And I have mastered the eating-while-I-watch-TV habit.) My number one unhealthy writing habit is staying up too late.

The problem is, I don't stay up too late writing. I stay up late doing all the things I want to do as well as writing. These vary from night to night, but they are reading, social media, television shows, Netflix, blogging, hanging with my husband, and cleaning. Some of these things are very good things. Hanging with my husband? Good! Reading? Also good. Cleaning is good, but I can't go to bed until my kitchen is clean and I put it off until midnight. Social media and television? Not a bad thing, but definitely not a priority. (But DEFINITELY a priority when I need to chill at the end of a rewarding but exhausting mom day.) It's just hard to strike a balance.

I have this perfectly imagined (and yet to be realized) schedule in which I have the kids to bed and the house clean by eight o'clock. That gives me time to blog, write in my journal, write for at least an hour, and even dabble a bit in social media while going to bed at the responsible time of ten thirty. (A girl can dream, can't she? Some girls dream of new shoes and travel. I dream of schedules...and travel.)

But what am I going to give up before I become this perfectly disciplined creature? Sleep? I've found that my body and mood don't function well on fewer than eight hours of sleep. (My husband does great on six hours of sleep. I am jealous.) Inspired by Bree's article, I've decided that sleep will no longer be the thing I sacrifice. It needs to be other things. I want to be healthy and write. I think I can do both. (Note to self: This does not mean you can stay up until one and sleep in until nine.)

Sleeping A not long after K was born. Poor, tired, new big sister.

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