The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Good Intentions

         Last Friday I had a sleep study done. A number of years ago (8? 10?) I had had one done initially. My snoring is notorious, and has been the case since I was a teenager and rail-thin, so fat is not the only issue (although it is exacerbated by the layer of lard I've become so fond of). Over the years, I've gotten used to the CPAP machine--with the long hose that accompanies it--but my doctors felt I needed to be "recalibrated."

         If you've never had the pleasure, they hook you up, using a gross of electrodes. You're in a room with a comfortable bed, a television, a tiny restroom. Oh, you have to void?  Don't forget to take along your huge "box" of electrical something-or-others, that keeps all the electrodes straight. That is, until they hook you up for real...After that, you'll have to get permission to pee.

         And then, they give people (who have paid for their admission tickets) access to the "observation room," where the techs are sitting, monitoring the studies and the cameras. You think you're safe, because it's dark? Don't get too secure--they have special cameras that can see everything despite the darkness, kind of like those night-vision goggles worn in "Silence of the Lambs." Popcorn is nibbled on, slushies are slugged, and everyone in the audience gets to laugh at the varied and hilarious snoring that goes on...

         They ask you what time you want to go to sleep. I said "between 10 and 11, and probably more like 11." That's the case every Friday evening. I have great intentions of staying up, because sometimes, I can sleep past 5 on Saturday morning. The idea of kicking up my heels and being up late is thrilling. However, my body is rarely able to fulfill those intentions. Usually, around 9:30 or so I'm drooling and snoring on the couch, missing out on all the wild antics I had planned. I've gone all week without enough sleep; my body finally crashes...

         And this was a normal Friday night. Somewhere before the clock had struck ten, I had already snorted myself awake. The technician came rushing in, and gave me the officiall hook-up. Within minutes, I was asleep.

        So it is with my writing. I have good intentions to live a more writerly life. I have the intention to write every day at the same time, to develop a real habit. However, what drives me most are deadlines. And I can't find a set time every day, so I eek out bits of time here and there.

         How about you? What are your intentions when it comes to writing or your creative life? How do you balance your intentions and the everyday muck of life?

         (Inquiring  minds want to know.)


  1. It is a very rare day when I don't write, no matter how tired I might be. It isn't like I tell myself that I HAVE TO more than I tell myself I HAVE TO eat chocolate. I love to write. And I do it ahead of mundane stuff that my internalized mother bitches at me ought to be done. When I'm dead, I won't regret that I left the dishes for Wednesday, rather than doing them on Tuesday. And so I take an hour, or an hour and a half, every evening, to write. And if I am off, like today, I write any darn time I feel like it, often early in the morning. Try and stop me.

    PS--I know just what you mean about conking out...around 9:30, so do I. I call it "watching tv", and yes, I can do it with my eyes closed. ;-)

  2. I'm not good at writing in my spare moments. So, that is what I want to work on. Shifting into writer-mode at will, instead of not writing at all because I think I don't have enough time.

  3. Sioux, the back of my couch has my butt cheeks embedded in it from falling asleep at 7 p.m. Waking at 10-11 is no picnic, as I am fully awake and ready to go, but not write. I want to read blogs and talk. It's a messed up world I live in. So then I awake at 4:30, hunt and peck for something to eat, drink my tea, and spend the next three hours on the computer wasting time.

  4. The old saying that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions better be false, or I'm doomed. I do try to focus on my writing, and I do when I have a deadline to meet. But otherwise it seems that other things (family mostly) pop up that require my attention NOW. For the most part I do write something every day, but not always the thing I had planned.

  5. Interesting to hear about your sleep study, and hope you got properly calibrated! I wish I could just sit down and write on a schedule, but like my sleeping habits, it never seems to be regular like that. My body (and brain) just have to be in the mood or I will be restless.

  6. I have a schedule for blog writing. Two blogs. Two posts every night. Unless I'm out late because one of my kids breaks the occasional elbow, splits open his head, or comes down with a concussion. In those instances, I'm discombobulated, and just put up a sentence or two. And rarely, I sit down to watch TV before I've posted, and fall asleep until it's too late.

    My serious humor writing, however, falls by the wayside. I can't get on a set schedule for that. Maybe I'm just too tired, after 365 nights a year of my husband's CPAP blowing his exhalations across my face. That makes it hard to concentrate on sleeping.

  7. Fireblossom--Do you drool as you "watch" television, as I do? ;)

    Janel---You've got lots of creative things going on. Good luck with eeking out more out of your day.

    Linda--Isn't this age a blast? I love the sleeping habits I've developed, since menopaused stopped mid-pause and hit me head-on.

    Lisa--Yes, the path our writing muse takes us can take us in surprising directions...

    Tammy--If I'm not in the mood, no matter how looming the deadline is, I can't write either. (We can't ALL be Linda!)

    Val--You write TWO posts every evening? Have I been missing one every time I check out your blog? Oh, noooo!

  8. Wow, I learn something new about you every time I read your blog. Sleep...
    I'm working on creating a better writing schedule. I write every day in my journal, but now I'm taking it beyond the ole journal...

  9. Lynn--Yes...even things you wish you didn't know. ;)

    I think you need to give yourself more credit. You write a lot. And I have a feeling that even the "ole journal" produces gems and snippets that you use in stories and essays.

  10. I am totally deadline-driven, so while that is helpful for my blogposts, it isn't applicable to my more ambitious intentions as a writer. As for the muck of life (the stuff that pays the bills), grantwriting is all about deadlines, so the work suits me well. BTW, I love your use of cross-outs in your posts!


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