Monday, May 14, 2012

Driving myself to sleeplessness.

Some people are morning people. Some people are night owls. I am definitely the latter. I find that writing during the day is akin to pulling teeth. Through my nose. Once the sun goes down, I'm a writing fool.

To wit, I sat at the computer for hours yesterday trying to crank out pages. I stared at the blinking cursor, reread the last few pages of my WIP, and debated tearing out my hair versus biting off my fingernails. After dinner last night, when the house started to quiet down for the evening (as if it hadn't been quiet all day, too), my fingers finally connected up with my brain and the words flowed.

I thought about stopping for the night when Helper Monkey left for work at eleven. In fact, I stood up, stretched, got a glass of water, shut the computer, and sat on my back porch reading Twitter on my cell phone. I was Preparing For Bed. I never even made it to the brush-my-teeth phase. Five minutes later, I knew what I wanted to write, and sat back down at the computer. Two hours later, I couldn't stay awake any longer. I needed sleep. But I was too wired from writing. I finally got to sleep sometime around two. And after waking up at 6:30 this morning, I REALLY need the sleep. But once again, it's after ten, and I'm just getting warmed up.

So can anyone shed some light on this for me? Can chronic sleep deprivation cause bran dimmage? I mean brain damage? I can't wait for summer vacation from school. I'll be allowed to sleep as late as I want every day, and stay up all night long writing. Last summer, I wrote 15,000 words in a single day. Sure, I spent fifteen hours at the keyboard, and I knew exactly what I wanted to write. Granted, it was a lot of crap that had to be edited to a nearly ridiculous level, but it essentially became the bones of the book I'm querying now. After nearly a year of editing and revising, mind you.

I'm not sure how long I can keep up the late nights, but I hope it's until the current novel is done. HAHAHA! That's funny. So far, this has been the slowest-going novel I've ever written. Getting the words out on paper (or the computer screen) is harder this time around than it's ever been before. (And this is my fifth go at a full-length, 100k word novel.)

I think it's partially the fact that I'm actively querying the first novel in this series. Until I have the approval of an agent, I think my brain doesn't want to cooperate and knuckle down to do the work. I have the second novel in the series ready to go, as well. It's not like I don't have something else to send the glorious angel of an agent who loves the story as much as I do. My brain is practical though. It doesn't want to waste time making words for a book with such an uncertain future. Sure, I doubt myself. All writers do. But that's no reason to let my writing suffer. So I keep writing the best I can.

So I'm off to make the pages, out on the back porch where the rain patters gently against the copper roof and reminds me of what my characters are going through at the moment. It's raining in the novel, and it's raining here. It's as good an atmosphere for writing as I could hope for. Hopefully I'll get to sleep before midnight tonight!

Words: 45,092
Pages:  148

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