Usually when it’s crunch time, meaning I’m almost done with a story, I will fill every available hour of my day with writing. As a result, I burn myself out and take a few weeks off to recover.
What this does, however, is make it super hard to sit down and start writing again. Like, super hard. And that 15 day break turns into two months. Meaning I’m far less productive than I could be. A kind of, what I would call “normal” productivity that I can pull off without stressing myself out.
Not to long ago, a poetry writing friend of mine told me about a book she found that suggested people of my “type” try writing mostly at night. So I decided to try it and see if it helped my productivity levels. I can write during the day sometimes, and I will if I can settle down, but I was telling her about how no matter how rested I am, my brain is just no good for thinking until about 10:30/11:00, which is when I need to be at work.
So for the last month or so, I’ve taken morning writing off the table and gotten other things off the plate instead. This means less crap to do at night, less beating myself up, less stress, and more productive writing sessions! 😀
As a result, I haven’t felt the need to “make up for being lazy” and push myself too hard. Meaning…yesterday saw the completion of the first draft of “Winter’s Siren” AND the start of “The Puppet Box!” Well, the re-start. Reworking the outline and reading over my notes are next on the agenda. True story. Yep, don’t need a break when I’m not abusing my brain. 🙂 This is literally the quickest turn around I’ve had between drafts in my life. ^_^ “Winter’s Siren” needs to sit a bit, so getting something else started will help me keep my hands off of it without getting rusty in the meantime.
Now, confession, I still stayed up too late Monday night, which is why the finish date was technically and actually yesterday, but come on, I was excited! And most importantly, completely unstressed (about writing anyway) and unburntout. Hmm…methinks unburntout is not a word.
The reason my poetry friend suggested this is because we both have sleep issues. The book she’s reading is about chronotypes. She’s a dolphin, also known as a light sleeper. Apparently I’m a “bear” type, in the sleep realm. Which is funny, because I often feel like a bear in the sleep department. We’re known for being deep sleepers. This is the kind of stuff you get into when you work at a health food store. 😛
There are also lions, known for being hyper alert and productive in the mornings, and wolves, the proverbial night owls. I’ve been called a night owl my whole life because I’m still wide awake at 10 p.m. when some people get tired, apparently. 😛 But real night owls have brains that are still working at midnight, probably, and my brain is most definitely not.
According to the book, bears edit best from 11-2 (late morning/early afternoon) and draft best from 6-11 at night. Isn’t that nice of the author to think about us creative people?! I don’t think it’s an exact science, but I can say from experience that my brain is sleep (as in not wanting to do any heavy brain lifting, whether I’m wide awake or not) until about 10 a.m. and goes back to sleep between 11 and midnight. I also know that most afternoons I can’t focus on writing. Which is fine because I can do other stuff those days.
I know that while I can be chipper in the morning (can be), I’m not a “morning person.” We tend towards certain habits for a reason. I’m all for doing what’s best for my brain! Plus, I’m also getting more sleep now, which has me feeling a little more sane than usual. ^_^
I also want to give a shout out today to awesome author person Sara Dobie Bauer who’s revealing the cover of her vampire rom-com companion sequel today, Bite Somebody Else – a book I’m VERY excited about!! It’s due out this summer: June 20, 2017. The first book Bite Somebody is nostalgic and hilarious and a vampire fan must read! (WHY IS THERE NO VAMPIRE EMOJI?!! 🦇)
Places to find Sara:
Join me throwing confetti at her today. ^_^
In case you don’t see it, here it is: