Sleep is for the emotionally stable

Like, just seriously, if any of you haven’t learnt this already, allow me to fill you in: SLEEP SOLVES EVERYTHING. Although having said that, this has been one of the most enjoyable days of my year, if not the most enjoyable, and I’m having it on zero sleep since … like 29 hours ago.

When it comes to having to wake up early, I end up freaking out about not getting enough sleep before the alarm goes off, to the point where, well, I don’t get enough sleep before the alarm goes off, if I get any at all. I’ve wanted to reset by biological clock for the past month or so now so that’s at least one positive, so long as I can stay awake until midnight before finally giving in and permitting myself to sleep. And I had BETTER SLEEP. You hear that, circadian rhythms?

However, like I say, today has been one of my favourites. I just felt jazzed the whole time (after I left the house and stopped feeling sorry for myself that is); I felt excited about going back to study, I felt excited about starting draft 2, and I felt excited at the prospect of keeping myself going for a whole day and making sure that it was full of stuff. I met a friend for breakfast at 9:30AM (another writer, also a beta reader, also had some very validating things to say about Tallulah as a character and helped me work through some ideas so thanks buddy!), hung around university for a couple of hours and fantasised about draft 2 with the actors I cast as the characters last night (which is a really good exercise for exploring character voice and characterisation if you’re familiar with the character, including the fact that any actor you cast is probably going to be at least slightly different to the version of the character in your head, which can be useful for seeing the character in a new light), did a 2-and-a-half EEG scan exercise thingy to help out some Psych people at university – which ended up running for longer than planned because the equipment was doing weird things, and was a real test of endurance as I was getting so tired I almost coma’d-out halfway through – but actually by the end of it I felt so much better for sticking it out. I felt like I’d been tested, made myself persevere despite my own protests and came out with energy to spare – because I knew what I wanted to use it for. The remaining hour I spent working out and writing up the proposal for draft 2 I’ve been working on for the past week, and while it’s still kind 0f slow going, it’s getting done, and it’s shaping up to look … well, not like a great story after the first three thirds, but that’s the whole point, so it’s looking like an effective and worthwhile exercise, and that’s justification enough for doing it as far as I’m concerned. It’s so validating. And really, that’s been this whole day: validating.

Yes, the delusion of being able to cast all of these awesome actors in the fantasy I have of the film of my book was at least 30% of what brought about my feeling of bliss, and another 50% was probably this song, which I’ve been listening to on repeat all day and I’m still not sick of it. It’s just so … jazzifying. I love the original as well, but the beat and backing track for this remix gave it a very different feeling, and it was the kind of feeling that I needed today. Also it’s just a good tempo for working to.

I won’t pretend that I got a whole lot done, though, because I didn’t, because this song acted as a sort of gateway into my ridiculous flights of fancy about the whole film-of-book fantasy, which is what I spent most of the two and a half hours I had free today between breakfast and the experiment indulging in. Got some new ideas for Tallulah as a story, and I like them, and I liked seeing the characters as being played by actors, just for a change in pace. And while not much actual writing may have been done, I got something out of today that I really needed: optimism. Because I spent a fair bit of today worrying about how I would ever cope with the workload I was preparing to take on once semester begins, and was very afraid of falling back into old habits. But then I came out of that longer-than-expected, deadly monotonous Psych experiment (nice people, but nothing can make those tasks interesting), and I came out feeling not refreshed, but sustained. Like I had broken through the barrier of ‘Just A Little More’, and suddenly there was no more, and I was free to do Whatever I Wanted, and I cannot express just how empowering that moment was, and how heartening. Perhaps borne of some musically-induced delusion, but if it gets me to stick with writing this book, then I’ll commit to that delusion like I put a ring on it/had a ring put on me by it/we exchanged rings and claimed mutual ownership of one another.

I dunno, the whole ring thing gets away from me a bit in this day and age, but the point is that I’m pretty happy right now, enjoying running on fumes, and it feels like I’m on the right track for keeping up this optimism. And I’m going to need it.

I’m not going to say that I’ll finish this proposal tonight, because that’s not the point anymore. The point is to do it. ‘It’ being ‘Writing This Book’. And that’ll take however long it takes. The point is not to put a deadline on it, not until a publisher tells me I have to, and that ain’t now.

The point is to get it done. Whatever way I have to, however long it takes, to get it done. And that’s what today’s serendipitous optimism has gifted me with.

I’ll be quite grateful to accept it.

And also to get some freaking sleep tonight.


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