I haven’t been sleeping much lately.
I know, I know, what new(ish) parent does? Surprisingly, it isn’t the Tiny Human’s fault that I’ve been missing out on Z’s. She goes down to bed at 7:30 every night, and she’s up at 7:00 in the morning. She didn’t always sleep so well, and so I’m thankful for every precious moment that she’s down.
So no, it’s not her fault.
I’ve always been a night owl.
For some reason, I’ve always had a difficult time focusing during the day. Maybe it’s because of my crippling FOMO. I’m a social person, and I don’t like to miss out on time with friends and family. Maybe it’s because I’m easily distracted.
Whatever the reason, I’ve always worked best when burning the midnight oil. Once I’m in the “creative zone”, I can go all night without feeling even a little bit tired. This, of course, worked fine when I was in high school and could sleep until my dad dragged me out of bed, or in college when I could skip a class or two to catch up on sleep (not that I ever did that…)
Now, as a homeowner with an energetic 10-month old to take care of, staying up late to hit my word count doesn’t work so well.
People tell you to “sleep when the baby sleeps”, but how can I do that AND be an author?
How can I raise a child, be a wife, tend to my incredibly needy Boston Terror (not a typo), keep a house, market my books (a full time job on it’s own, I’m finding), query agents, attend author events, AND find time to write and edit? How can anyone juggle so many plates without breaking them?
Sometimes, I feel like continuing to write is selfish. Like I could be a better mom if I just got a few extra hours of sleep a night. But then I throw back another coffee, take a deep breath, and keep plugging on.
How do you eat an elephant?
One bite at a time.
One bite at a time, one foot in front of the other, I’ve spent the last two months staying up late and working. I’ve been querying The Second Death (I’ll be writing another post on that next week!), putting together a marketing plan for The Forbidden City, networking with other authors, and prepping He Called Her Chaos for NaNoWriMO.
The to-do lists never seem to get shorter, and for every one thing I cross off the list, three more things get tacked on to the end. But that’s motherhood/adulthood/life in general, isn’t it?
I’m feeling exhausted but accomplished. Little bit little, everything is getting done. And somehow–miraculously–I’ve only chipped a plate or two along the way. Nothing is broken, and Tiny Human continues to keep me on my toes from sun-up to sun-down.
So I’ll keep going. My favorite quote these days is this:
An object in motion tends to stay in motion.
I was never any good at physics, but I understand the relevance of Newton’s law of motion. I chant this to myself a thousand times a day, repeating it each time I come close to collapsing, or calling it quits, or just binge watching Arrested Development for the fifteenth time. If I could tattoo it across my forehead, I would.
So I’ll stay in motion. I’ll keep taking three steps forward and two steps back. I’ll eat that metaphorical elephant one bite at a time. And I’ll continue staying up into the wee hours of the night, hacking away at my word count and pursuing my goals.
Tell me about you: what is your writing process? When do you squeeze in the time to write? Are you more creative in the morning or at night?
I want to hear from you!