Friday, April 1, 2011

Reading, Writing & Insomnia

It's no secret I'm a tad bit addicted to reading and, well, books in general. I have always been an avid reader but in the past few years it's as if I simply can't get enough. I carry books with me when I run errands on the off chance that I'll get to steal a few minutes with its pages. I try to read at least a little bit each night before falling asleep. I feel more relaxed and getting lost inside someone elses' story has always been therapeutic for me.

I never really saw this as a problem until I began writing my own book. Now I often find myself torn between writing and reading. When it's been a particularly long or tiring day, I tend to gravitate towards curling up with a good book and going to bed early. This does not, however, help me reach my writing goals each day. I've heard time and time again that getting into the habit of writing every day, even if it's just a little bit, is helpful to keep motivated. I have to agree with this. When I take more than a day or two off from writing, I feel lazy and find it easier to skip writing again.

And here is where it gets more complicated: I love to read. I love to write. I want to do much more of both of them that I actually have time for. Some days I really do have to choose one or the other. It makes me sad either way. If I don't get time alone with a book each day, I hate it. If I can't reach my writing goals each day, I feel unproductive and overwhelmed.

The problem is, as a stay at home mom, I have very little time to myself. I often attempt to sneak in a few pages of reading during the day. It's not easy but I'm slowly learning that since the only time I really have to write when I can concentrate is late at night, after everyone has gone to bed. This is also not easy. I have always been one of those people who needs lots of sleep to function happily. After nearly a year of training it, I think I'm finally starting to get my body used to getting less sleep.

So my last thought is this: Is it odd that I may actually wish for a dash of insomnia? I'm sure it's a terrible condition to have but I sometimes allow myself to fantasize about how productive I could be if I had hours in the middle of the night to just work on my book.

A girl can dream, right? Or...I suppose in this case, a girl can dream about not dreaming?


  1. Hi Cindy!
    I found you through the boston entour. page. Just wanted to say hi, and that I empathie with your situaiton. As a mother of 2 children (one is still a toddler), I'm constantly having to choose between family, writing and reading. It's difficult, but you will find a way to balance it all eventually. Maybe there are some days you write, and some days you give yourself to a book. I try to keep the summers for reading and the school year for writing. Which doesn't mean I don't read during the year or write during the summer. But it helps me to know where to focus my energies.

    Good luck - I'm sure you'll find a way! And nice to meet you!

  2. Thank you so much for stopping by, Sheela!

    I think you're right. Some days I just have to give into one over the other. If only there were more hours in the day, right?

    It's really wonderful to meet you as well. I'm very much looking forward to VANISHED. :-)