Writing Up a Storm

Night four (I think) of my experiment and I’m still loving it!  I’ll be honest, I don’t think I’m getting any more sleep than I was before, but I certainly am being more productive.  Something just hasn’t been jiving these first few days between my brain wanting to sleep and my kids sleeping when they’re supposed to.  Regardless of our inability to coordinate, things are going fairly well.  I am certainly not getting less sleep than I was, and I think having that solid, initial block in the early evening hours really helps if the early morning hours get rocky.

Tonight I fell asleep easier than I have been, which was great.  My brain started ramping up with the laundry list of things I had forgotten (why does it always do that when I’m trying to sleep?!)  But it was super easy to flip the off switch when I could remind myself that I was getting up in three hours and would just do it then.  I was actually surprised how quickly my mind shut itself up!  It was fantastic!

So what have I been doing with my extra time?  Writing of course!  Like I said, most of the time I’m gaining from this right now is going toward Nanowrimo.  I’m writing a novel, and it’s going really well.  I’m currently on course to win the contest of writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.  I don’t think that will be enough words to finish my book, but it gets me off to a great start nonetheless!

I am super excited about this particular expedition into fantasy writing, my first real shot at it, and I can’t wait to share all of it with all of you!  But for now you will just have to settle for a bit of an excerpt:

What was wrong with everyone? Couldn’t they tell there was something very wrong here? This wasn’t a carnival game or a part of the ceremony. The River hadn’t “gifted” them anything, how would a river even do that anyway? Why was she the only sane person here? The men got to chest deep water and began swimming, keeping their heads above water and eyes toward the basket. Kassia held her breath. The crowd held their breath.

Minutes passed as they maneuvered toward the center of the River, getting themselves into position to catch the basket as it drifted. Half treading water, half swimming upstream, they were drawing closer and closer. Benjamin was the first one to reach out for the basket, gently pulling it in to himself so as not to overturn it, he peered inside. He found layers of blankets, a few of which he soaked tugging at them to see what lay underneath. He cursed under his breath, very unlike him.

“What is it? Ben what do you see?” Brice prodded swimming up alongside him. “Ben!” The color had drained from his face; he made eye contact but couldn’t get anything out. Few things threw Benjamin Azure off his game, but this was more than he had bargained for.”

If that whetted your appetite a bit, stay tuned for more!

Mini Thoughts

So far my sleep experiment has been a success.  I am certainly not less rested than I was before, and I seem to be feeling more energized.  Though it’s early on, so I’ll reserve judgments for now.  I am certainly being more productive than I was before!  The freedom to fall asleep at 7pm knowing I will have two or three more hours in my day to work (without kids!) is just so freeing.

And look, another blog!  Even so, don’t expect too much from me this month.  I plan on doing lots of blogging, but short and sweet blogs with one or two thoughts from the day… mini thoughts you might call them.  :)  The majority of my writing time this month will be dedicated to Nanowrimo!  I won Nano in 2010 when Evie was a baby and haven’t had a chance since then.  Right now I’ve got a great novel idea and I’m going for it.  I will post some excerpts for you soon!

I also have some great holiday recipes that I’ve been testing out and I will be sharing throughout the month.  Looking forward to having some time for my outlet again and praying that my sleep experiment continues to go well so my blogging can keep going.

Hey! I’m awake!

Ever watch signing time?  For those who do, I have that “Hey! I’m awake and I’m ready to start my day!” song stuck in my head.  You’re welcome to join me.  😀

Actually it’s 11pm but I just woke up an hour ago.  I am shifting my sleep cycle in an attempt to both get more and better sleep and be more productive.  I actually read about the concept of “second sleep” in this article a few years ago and just thought the other day, maybe I should try that…   Why?  I’m so glad you asked!  Let me show you.  Usually my nights go like this:

6:30pm – We start the bedtime rituals with the little ones.  I am already exhausted from the day.

7:00pm – We are finishing bedtime routine and praying everyone falls asleep.

7:30pm – Everyone is in bed, hopefully sleeping, I collapse into the recliner.

8:00pm – Jake and I halfheartedly discuss everything we should be doing but are too tired to do.

9:00pm – By now I am way too tired to still be awake, but I know how much I need to be doing so I don’t go to sleep.  I can’t sleep.  My mind won’t let me.

10:00pm – Tired. Stressed. Overwhelmed.  Still in the recliner.

10:30pm – I have now dragged myself up the stairs and into my bed.  I spend ten minutes nursing baby to sleep.

10:40pm – Stephen wakes up and needs to cuddle.

10:50pm – Evangeline wakes up and needs to go potty.

11:00pm – The baby wakes up again because I keep moving.

11:30pm – Almost about to drift off into sweet, restful sleep and Jake comes up to bed.  Kids are awake again.

12:00am – I finally get to sleep.

Do you see how unproductive this is??  Very!  To add to all of that, at about five or six in the morning the children start waking up, so I am awake again, but too tired to get out of bed.  I usually drag myself out of bed at 7:30 these days.  Guess who is making breakfast?  Yeah… not me.  (I have to add here that I do have the best husband in the whole world.)  So I spend about nine hours physically in bed and I’m only get about five hours of total sleep.  And the two hours I am not in bed after the kids are down, I am not accomplishing anything. I’m much too tired mentally, emotionally and physically.  But I can’t sleep because I know it’s my only time of day with no children.

So a few days ago a lightbulb went off.  What if I just throw out my whole playbook and made a sleeping schedule that actually worked?  Who says I have to sleep one long stretch and if I miss that window I’m out of luck?  I decided to make my own rules.  Here’s what I’m trying now instead:

7:00pm – Lay down with the children and GO TO SLEEP.  I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t ready to pass out by seven o’clock.  So might as well!  Those first couple hours are when the kids sleep the soundest.  I should sleep when they sleep.  Parenting 101 right?

10:00pm – This is when the kids usually start getting restless anyway.  So I’ll just wake up here, help all my precious little ones get their nighttime needs met (not begrudgingly because I was going to get up anyway! Brilliant!!) and then go get some work done.

12:00am – I think this is where I will probably crash again and the restless window for the kids is usually done by now.  So I will go back to bed about here.

5:00am – If I get a three hour stretch earlier and then this five hour stretch it should be easy for me to wake up at five, a little ahead of the kids, so I can make breakfast and prepare myself for a great start to the day!

I know, it seems a little too good to be true, right?  I get more sleep and spend less time in bed, all with waking up earlier and getting more time to myself.  Perfect.  We’ll see if it works!  But, if nothing else, you have a blog post tonight courtesy of second sleep!  I’ll see if we can keep it going!

P.S. – For those of you who might be new to my blog, welcome!  (I got quite a few views on my Replacement Mom post that I wrote a year ago.)  I also just wanted to thank all of you who commented.  Your thoughts mean the world to me!  I wish I could respond to each one, but please know I do read them all and they are so encouraging and make me want to keep writing.  Thank you for taking the time to chime in.  <3

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