Z is for Zzzs (or Rather, Lack of Them)

Hey lovelies! The last day of the A to Z Challenge has sadly dawned. I've had so much fun blogging the alphabet (plus, checking out all the wonderful blogs taking part in the challenge!), and I'm sorry to see this go. But on the plus side, now that the Challenge is over, I will hopefully have a bit more time to write and edit and share new material with all of you! :D

I think you guys have pretty much gathered this by now: I like my creature comforts. I'm not even going to deny it - I like bubble baths and dark chocolate and sweatpants. I like burning scented candles and reading 400-page books in one sitting. I like eating homemade food. I like marathoning Sherlock. I like going to the cinema and fangirling over actors I love and listening to the same song on repeat five billion times over.

Guess what else I like? Sleeping.

I'm 99.9% sure that I'm not the only student out there who has ever gotten less than 7 hours of sleep a night due to an insane amount of homework (actually, one of my teachers told me that, in the 8th grade, we're only supposed to get 90 minutes of homework every night, which I am here to tell you is grossly inaccurate). But if you tack on this whole writing gig, it tends to add up to more and more work until some nights, it feels like I'm drowning in everything that needs to get done before midnight.

It's a bit of an inner battle: finish science homework or edit Frozen Hearts? Write Chinese essay or another chapter of Paper Wings?  I like to think that I manage my time moderately well, but sometimes it just gets so overwhelming that I have to take a walk or listen to music or just sit for a few minutes and breathe because I don't know what needs to be done and when and why and how. :P

But the thing is, what I've learned is that they're both important. I mean, obviously I don't want to slack off in school because I'm too busy writing, but I also don't want to neglect my writing because I'm too busy getting As! So it can't be one or the other. Solution? Sacrifice sleep instead.

Oftentimes, I'm writing when I really should be sleeping instead. (Heck, that's actually what I'm doing right now. And yes, I do see the irony. ;)) I try to get all the "real" work out of the way first: homework, studying for exams and things, SAT prep - which is going to be DONE in two days, but I'll talk more about that tomorrow! - National History Day work, etc. But then there's only so many hours left in the day for writing, editing, practising various instruments, writing songs, and blogging - and there's really no choice but to do all that at night. (This is where my sporadic bursts of insomnia come in handy!) However, it also ensures that I'm sometimes functioning on five hours of sleep per night, which even know really is not enough. :P

A critique group I'm in that meets once every two weeks, and the meeting time is at 4-6 AM for me. While I love talking to the wonderful and amazingly talented writers in that group, sometimes it can be a struggle for me to wake up and get on Skype with a smile on my face rather than just hitting the Snooze button my alarm clock and not forfeiting those two hours of sleep. Things like this happen a lot for me, especially on the weekends - I tend to wake up very early or go to bed very late (sometimes both!) in order to get some writing time in when the world is quiet. Every single time, it's a bit of a war with myself to start doing it - and yet, once I'm fully immersed in the writing world, it all just goes away and I wonder why I ever hesitated in the first place.

So yes. I have had to sacrifice a few of my precious creature comforts that I so love - including sleep! - in order to make time for everything that needs to be done, but I think in the end it pays off. Plus, summer's just around the corner, so goodbye homework and hello unlimited writing time!

(Though, I don't even want to think about what high school will be like. Or college. Or - gulp - REAL LIFE. *cowers in a corner* ;))

love, Topaz