Friday, February 01, 2013

750 Words, Day 1 of the February Challenge

I don't usually write at night, and it crossed my mind I might have missed the first day of the February 750 Words challenge because of time zone differences.  I see now that the site must be in the Pacific time zone because I'm writing this around 7:20 p.m. and their clock says 4:20.  This is good because I could write my 750 words at two a.m. and still make the deadline--not that I would.  I know some people do, but usually, if I've got an idea or line that's nagging me, I roll over, jot it down in the notebook on the floor next to my side of the bed and try to be done with it. The worst thing for me to do is get up and start writing because then the brain starts going and after that...forget it. My sleep cycle has gone to hell.  Some people don't mind this, but you can't run a household that way.  This is not to say I don't end up having "writing nights" anyway because I do.  I write poems and essays in my head when I'm in that half asleep stage.  (There's a word for that stage--I actually used in a post not long ago. I got it from's "word of the day," but damn if I can remember it now.) 

Anyway, this is how it works.  I'm sleeping, but not all the way, and it has been an actively intellectual day, and I've got ideas swimming through my brain, and even though I've done my evening "detox" (something mindless before bed), the stuff is still climbing around like a bunch of kids on a jungle gym.  So I tell myself to go to sleep, and I might for a little bit, but I start dreaming and wake up to let the dog out, rearrange the pillows or go to the bathroom or something equally annoying and before I know it, I'm trying to fall asleep again but the damn essay or whatever is still in my head, but not really--in fact, so "not really" that even if I thought it would be okay to just get up and write, I don't because most of it is crap.  Now, I'm writing crap right at this very moment--free writing, not editing much, just more enjoying the feel of fingertips against keyboard and the lovely sound of fast typing.  But the kind of crap I'm talking about really is crap.  It's the stuff that might seem brilliant at the time, but then you go back and say, "What the hell?"  So I've learned to try to ignore most of it.  Some nights though...yeeshk.

I talked before about trying to avoid brain burnout, and sleep deprivation is one reason I get to that overwhelmed point. The other is over-stimulation. I thought I would avoid it by cutting down on the number of hours I spend on the computer at any one time, but this morning, I started this awesome class called "Writing Towards Healing" through the  "Writing our Way Home" website.  So it's day one, and there's all this pre-reading and posting, so of course, I try to shove it all into one sitting because it's so damn interesting. But mornings aren't easy because it takes awhile for the coffee and meds to kick in. Before I knew it, I was busting a brain cell and had to throw myself into a bubble bath with a lighted candle on the edge of the tub, which wasn't a bad thing, but it was a reminder that even if I say I'm going to break up my hours, plans can still go awry. Besides, I was re-trying some ADHD meds I haven't bothered with since I started working from home, thinking  they might help my concentration and PTSD.  Well, they did.  But they also gave me a bit of anxiety and a headache.  To boot, I've been on a liquid diet for two days, which I'm sure makes a difference in metabolizing meds.  So by the time I was done, I was DONE and haven't done much since except take care of some paperwork, which is why I'm late writing. 

Anyway, that's my excuse, but it really was a good reminder that not every day is alike and if I take the time out I need, I will be up and going again and shouldn't fear I will spend the rest of my life on the couch...which will make the cat happy, too.
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