Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Wasting Time #3 -- Not Sleeping

Sometimes, when you're a writer who has to work every day, everything that you do seems to take away from writing time. Bathing for too long, for instance, becomes an impediment to writing. Naps or your regular sleep time prohibits the creative process.

Unfortunately, at least where sleep is concerned, I react in the opposite way. If I do not sleep regularly, I cannot write well. And I rarely sleep regularly. I know that my sleep habits are partially connected to stress, but also partially just habits. For instance, I woke up this morning a little before five, even though I know I can sleep in until almost seven, because my cat always wakes me up around this time. I couldn't go back to sleep, because I was thinking about work and the 4 classes I need to hire for in 3 weeks.
How does this affect my writing? Well, when I don't sleep my full 8 (or 6 or 4), I get cranky and I can't focus on anything too long. My inspiration literally dries up, because I am so focused on just getting through the day. When I come home, the last thing I feel like doing is writing, because I would much rather sleep. A lot.
My erratic sleep patterns used to be much worse. They are getting better and evolving, as I learn to deal with stress better. However, I am still working on making my sleep patterns much less about survival sleep and much more about dreaming and being able to create the next day.