Sunday, 11 December 2011

A Better Plan

I've been incredibly tired for a while now. Overwhelming so to be honest. Whether Nanowrimo upset my system, more than last year or whether its something else, I don't know. One thing I do know though is I can't let it beat me! Like a runner, (I imagine, because I don't run) who gets terrible cramp in the marathon, he'll run through it, and that's exactly what I need to do now.

December is always a busy month. At work, its coming up to our year end, so there is lots more to do, and its harder to find people, even in this age of communication. They tend to take days off possibly to use up the years quota of holiday. And then we do a stock take the week before Christmas. Total madness, and completely out of my hands, but it involves working into the late evening for at least three or four nights. I have that joy tomorrow.

Family matters seem more intense. Children have parties, adults have parties, and places to go, things to do, people to see in readiness for two days of family celebrations.

I constantly have this battle with sleeplessness, progressively getting worse as the years pass, and this year if I look back its deteriorated further. How do I cope? I keep writing through it. That's how I cope. I almost have to give myself permission to just write! Knowing it may not be my best stuff, but its better than no writing at all. Which, if I don't write at all, I feel grumpy and awful about myself.

Usually, after a few good nights sleep and some deep relaxation, I can shake the feeling off for a while, I get a temporary reprieve, and get some more words down on my WIP or whatever else I may be working on, then off I go again. Until it builds up again, and we have a repeat of the same.

This is why I need a better plan, I need to have a definite schedule which is manageable. Something I am looking at right now. Options are, should I choose a word count then plan it into my week, each week?
Perhaps, I should vow to have two early nights every week? Or should I opt for writing out a 'To Do' list each Sunday for the week ahead, and try and complete it. Knowing if I don't, its not so bad as I will have at least done some of the stuff on the list.

Ideas please. What do you do? Do you make lists? When do you find the time to write? Does anyone else suffer from tiredness, if so how do you cope?


  1. I'm trying to consider how to answer this. I have my own way to cope with sleeplessness... like when I really can't sleep, and I'm thinking about the WIP, I simply go to my computer and do it--at whatever time in the morning it is. But then, I'm finding at my age I'm not really needing that much sleep as I did about 3-4 years ago.

    I do NOT have any word-count goal in mind when I write--as that only will frustrate me. Usually, esp. in the beginning, I'm slow at the start, trying to get up steam, and esp. (right now), I'm working on something different from my series. I may write differently from you, or other people. I could never do NANo. What you might do is set a goal of a word count per week. That might work better.

    What it sounds like is, because you can't write when you'd like to (me too, I have a f.t. job), you are feeling this frustration of not accomplishing the one thing you find tremendously important to you, and it may be causing the sleeplessness. Been there myself.

    If I find that I can't sleep I do take a mild sleep aid. I don't take one every night, only when I really need to sleep.

    You know the moments when you can work, and when you can't better than any of us. If you only have one or two hours in which you can write--when nothing else is happening, and you can be in your office (?) and work and no one bothers you, then do it. Just set aside that hour. You'd be surprised at how you will be able to get something done if you know This is IT! I have to work! And stay off line too!

    I hope this helps you some.

  2. Oh, I know how you feel. Sometimes I can't find the time to write and it makes me grumpy too. I try to schedule my writing time when my son naps. I'm usually too tired at night, so I have to go for the afternoon. I'm not a list maker, but I like a minimum word count goal. I try to 1000 words a day.

  3. Sorry to hear you're not at your best just now. I'm a list lover and find it helps me to not have to remember everything I'll need to do as it's all in my list. I use and have several categories for to-do items (including writing, personal, teaching, blogging) and find that really helpful.

    I suffer with tiredness too and to be honest, lately it's been winning somewhat. Early nights are so much easier to say you need than to take...

    I hope you find your solutions soon (and blog about them, so I can nick them!)

  4. Start by tell yourself you will do 500 words a day. If you find you can only do 500 words a week then that's a start, but you might find you're doing more that 2000 a week but at least you are doing something which is better than nothing.

  5. I think your schedule idea is a very good one. I had to plan a schedule out for myself, because I never seemed to get anywhere. Having kept to the schedule for the past several weeks, it's finally paying off. I schedule my writing for weekends (full-time job during the week and less time to concentrate on writing, so weekdays are reserved for other things). I tend to take myself off to a cafe, where there are no distractions of televisions or household chores, and I just write for a few hours.

    I think a "to do" list is a personal choice. It can help to feel like you are getting somewhere, and being able to cross things off accomplishes that. I like lists when I have loads of stuff to do.

    A word count goal sounds like a good idea. If you have something to aim for, there's a lot of pleasure in meeting your target.

    I hope you manage to get some decent sleep soon.

    In an aside, I've given you an award :). You may very well already have it, or not want it, but I thought I'd let you know it's over at my blog.

  6. I actually find not forcing myself to write everyday is more productive. I mean do runners run everyday? Do footballers train everyday? Not all, but they still score goals. I find having an acheivable goal and achieving inspires and energises me to a higher target and this way overcomes tiredness. I'm still writing though not compelled to everyday, but at the end of the week the words are there. I'm just returning to Twitter and would love to hear from more writers @keithLarge3

  7. Wow! So many helpful comments. Thank you all for taking the time to write.

    I'll definitely be using some of the great ideas you've come up with for me.

    I fancy a word count goal, but have now decided I won't try and write every single day. Every other will be just fine, and give me time to pursue other stuff I need or want to do, as well as getting some sleep.

    Best wishes to you all. :-)


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