Here is something weird that you may not know about me: I hate sleeping. I think it is a waste of time that I'd rather spend doing other, more fun things. If I had the option to never sleep again, I would take it without a backward glance. I like to think that I have a condition called "Optional Insomnia," but it's probably just that I'm weird.
For example, this weekend we were "babysitting" an 8-year-old for a friend. Set aside the fact that it is nearly impossible for two 20-somethings with 0 children to entertain an 8-year-old when a limit of 30 minutes is placed on all of his television-based activities, as that is not the point of this venture. No, when it came time for "bed time," rather than being a simple "good night" and flipping of the light switch, I lost five hours of my life.
My biggest problem with sleep is that, for me, it is so unpredictable. Most days, I will go to sleep assuming that whenever I wake up will be the right time for my body to extricate itself from the bed and my brain to start working. Not so, says nature. Lately I find myself waking up around 2am and heading for the bathroom, thinking myself ready for the day. I get angry when I look at the clock, though, because the big hand is always pointing between 2 and 3. This is doubly annoying because I can't remember the last weekday that I woke up where it wasn't pitch black outside, even when my body waited for my alarm clock.
But, back to the actual story. I settled into bed with Sword of Shannara, which I have since decided to abandon until later this year because the writing style is too wordy and the length of the paragraphs is distracting (sorry Terry). After conversing with Micah about how much trouble I'm having moving forward with the initial draft of Scions of the Shade, I was ready to allow the day's exhaustion to overwhelm me. Unfortunately, our temporary charge had other plans.
Without going into detail or minimizing his needs, I will say that it took five hours for me to get two hours of sleep, and I found myself waking up at the all-too-familiar 2am with no more patience for what passes for sleep. I got out of bed, went to the couch, put on my headphones, and wrote. See? I was productive. Can't do THAT during sleep. Just the same, after brewing a full pot of coffee around 4:30am, and drinking even more around 9 or 10, I was both jittery AND productive. My stomach punished me all day, like it does when I get little sleep, and I ended up napping in the PM (which always carries the risk of my sleep being messed up again).
I can give all kinds of past examples of this phenomenon... it's part of the reason I have so much time to play Dynasty Warriors and the like, but I do know that it bothers the other person of my household. They value their sleep, treat it like a sanctuary even, and that's a tough difference to live with when I have 2am nights where I nearly climb into the shower before looking at the clock.
So, that's what happened to me this weekend. Scions is still a problem child, as I spent 3 more hours yesterday re-editing chapter 1 to add "more description" to the immediate setting rather than reading "How To Write Like Chekhov," but at least it is a lovable child. My crazy mind thought, briefly, yesterday that I might be stressing out too much and I might need to take a week or two break from both reading and writing, but I'm sure you can see this is just a symptom of sleep deprivation-induced insanity. I have way too much work to do on The Ninth Avatar to take a break now, and getting further in my WIP projects is too rewarding to rest so soon. Let me take a break when I actually get something published, right?