I think I’m making progress towards this whole I am a writer thing. I say this because today I am utterly exhausted and I still wrote my daily word count, exceeded it, actually. 1500+ words when you are a narcoleptic and you haven’t slept well is quite an accomplishment.
As my niece would say, “narcoleptics prevail!”
Someone today commended me on my writing habits. He said I had “discipline.” It’s funny, because that’s one of the last words I would use to describe myself. How many times do I check my email, scroll through Facebook, look for new stories about JK Rowling or Pitch Perfect 3, or send a funny dog video to my husband before I sit down to write? Probably about 1,265,317 times. And that’s just in one morning.
Then there was this morning. I did not want to write anything for my novel. Not even a teeny tiny bit. I tried to get going by revising a picture book I wrote for my online class through KidLit College. I then sat and stared at my computer feeling rather belligerent about everything, especially writing. Just write 100 words, I encouraged myself.
What I really wanted to do was go back to bed and take a nap. It was only 8:00am.
The last time I got a good night’s sleep was February 12th, 2016. Seriously. My husband and I stayed over at his friend’s house because we were having an all-day Harry Potter movie marathon. I don’t know if it was the bed, how cold the room was, or the fact that my husband and I secretly eloped that morning. Before that, my last good night’s sleep was the end of September, 2015, when I was housesitting for a friend, and before that it was a day in March, 2014, when I went to a chiropractic open house.
You know you’re dealing with a narcoleptic when they can tell you their last good night’s sleep. What this means, though, is that it’s been many days in a row of not good sleep and ever since the full moon last week it’s been many days in a row of not good sleep and incredibly vivid, and often disturbing dreams. Suffice it to say I feel exhausted.
It’s time like this that I’m incredibly grateful I had the courage and inclination to quit my teaching job. When I was a professor, teaching four classes, advising 30-40 students, serving on committees, and conducting research, I was exhausted simply by the sheer weight of my work, never mind the narcolepsy.
I would never have been able to write the way I do and I would not be where I am with my writing if I had not quit.
That’s one of the reasons, though, I could power through. When I started writing this morning I was only 1500 words away from crossing the 20,000 word mark of my second novel. I wanted to get there and I wanted to do it today so tomorrow could bring another goal. I’m on track to finish the first draft of my second novel by the first week of February. It blows my mind that not only do I have the first draft of one novel completed, but I’m getting to the finish line of a second one! How did this happen? Is it discipline? Or is it positive reinforcement? I don’t know, and right now, I don’t care, because I am tired, yet I am writing. Narcoleptics prevail, indeed!