Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Insecure Writer's Support Group: Rolling Back the Hours

On the first Wednesday of every month, a sizable group of us writers take part in the Insecure Writer's Support group. We share our insecurities, because in the end, it helps us to realize that we're not the only ones feeling the way we do. If you want to check out the bloghop or sign up, you can find information here.

Also, if for whatever reason you prefer Wordpress, you can find this same post here.


As I mentioned on my Update Day post, I actually had an amazing month in May, and although there are still quite a few things up in the air, I think June might end up being a big one too.

One of the major highlights of May was that I signed a contract with a major company to help create their content. It actually suits me perfectly because I'm using my degree and my writing skills together.

For now, the contract is basically a test run until December, but given how happy the lady in charge of my work is, I'm starting to feel secure in the fact that an extension past that is probable, even likely. It's really strange to think that I'm this excited about the job, because it was so not what I had in mind when I started freelancing, but my brain is really enjoying the chance to use both hemispheres at the same time, since I have to be both analytical and creative, reading reams of reports and pulling all that information together into articles that people that haven't read those reports can understand.

Best of all, assuming this is a long-term kind of gig, it actually gives me the level of financial security I need to allow me more writing hours.

So where's the insecurity?

Well. In the fact that for the past two weeks, I've been sleeping through those writing hours, which means I'm still struggling to fit everything into my schedule.

See, when I was working fixed price gigs instead of hourly like I do now, my hours drifted. It didn't matter what time of the day I did something as long as it got done before deadline. And I was "filling" my writing hours with freelance work because for the past few months, I was in no shape to be creative. The stress and anxiety from my life exhausted me emotionally, and since freelance was paying my way, I put the emotional reserves I had into that so I can keep racking up the good ratings. (A strategy that paid off in a big way because it directly led to this contract.)

The overall result was that my sleeping patterns shifted to hours inoptimal to my writing. I went to bed at 2 a.m. and woke up at 8, maybe 9. Then I'd work from about 10 a.m. to as late as 11 p.m., and veg out until 2 a.m.

Bad bad Misha.

Because a lot of the stress points in my life have lifted, which leaves me wanting to work on my own stuff. Thing is, if I want uninterrupted writing hours, and I do, I need to wake up at 6 a.m. It's a simple thing, really. In theory, I should get to bed at around midnight and set my alarm.

Phht. Uh huh.

I did that.

Now I have the lovely sounds of my alarm as backdrop to my dreams.

As I sleep right through it to 8, maybe 9.

So now I'm going to move my hours some more and get to bed by 10 p.m. but it remains to be seen how that works out.

How do you guys on Daylight Savings Time manage to shift your sleeping patterns? It shouldn't be that different from what I'm trying to do. 

35 comments:

  1. Fingers crossed on getting that extension. I hate daylight savings time. I can't quite figure out what why we still do it.

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    1. Thanks!

      Yeah I have to say, DST always did sound like a terrible idea to me.

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  2. Good luck figuring out a better sleep schedule. My work schedule, though fixed, changes throughout the week, so even though I go to bed around the same time, it's hard getting up on my early days.

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    1. Thanks!

      Yeah what's also really hard for me right now is that it's dark and cold when I want to wake up, so my body and brain are like: Nope.

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  3. It's wonderful that your job is working out so great and that you get to use your writing skills. I wish I could help you with your sleeping issues. Getting enough of that and at the correct times is not one of my strong points. Have you tried listening to some meditations on YouTube? I do that sometimes and it does help.

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    1. It's an interesting idea. I'll look into it. :-)

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  4. Oddly, sleep is important, even for writers. I've found that out, as is 'vegging' out time. You'll find the rhythm that works for you and manages to fit in the writing you want to accomplish.

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    1. That's the thing, isn't it? I know I will figure it out eventually, but me being me, I want to have it figured out now. :-P

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  5. I'm grateful I've never had to do any sort of shift work. A major blessing of retirement is the chance to finally settle into my own schedule after years of running on caffeine and a 5:30 a.m. alarm. I wish you the best in finding your best rhythm again.

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    1. That does sound nice, although the way I've been feeling, my natural rhythm might be 20 hours' sleep to 4 of anything productive, which would be less than ideal. ;-)

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  6. I could not stay up that late anymore.
    Do your best to get up earlier and go to bed earlier.

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    1. That's a good idea. I think I found the sweet spot that's neither too late nor too early, but then my life messed things up again so I haven't been able to go to sleep at that time often enough to test if it works. :-/

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  7. Congratulations on the contract! I have a feeling you'll do wonderfully. :)

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    1. Thanks! Yeah I'm super excited about it. ^_^

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  8. Fun times. We're working on the whole sleep shifting thing too. My baby is up two times a night still, and that makes for a fun day. Her last major waking is at 1 am, so it's hard to motivate ourselves to get to bed before then...but we must. Other kids are up by 7:00 am. *sigh* We are working on it though, and three days in a row of being up early will hopefully turn to a regular thing. Here's to being more productive!

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    1. Yeah I also find it way too easy to stay awake into the small hours of the night. But it kicks my butt when I know I need to wake up early.

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  9. It's much easier to shift back in the fall when we get an extra hour. I used to stay up late but it's easier to go to bed by 10 and hit the ground running early the next morning.

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    1. Okay that makes sense. Thanks for the tip.

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  10. Congrats! Glad things are shaping up so nicely for you:)

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  11. Congratulations on the contract and best of luck on that extension. I'm in a bad sleep pattern myself right now (staying up till 2 or 3 and being dead in the morning) so if you figure out a solution, please share.

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    1. Will do! Nice to see you again. It's been a while. :-D

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  12. Hi Misha - I'm a lucky sleeper. So glad you got the contract ... I can't do late nights - but hope you get sleeping patterns sorted ... take care - cheers Hilary

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  13. The first few days after the change is hard in the sleep schedule but if I can make myself get up 3 or more days in a row and go to bed an hour earlier it smooths out. Flipping the sleep schedule can be tough. I use to work 12 hour shift work that literally flipped every month 6 to 6. That was tough. You just start adjust and have to flip again.

    Congrats on the job! Wahoo!!!

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    1. Yeah that makes sense. I can imagine that having to flip 100% is going to be a pain. I mean I'm only talking about two hours in the morning and it's already kicking my behind.

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  14. Congrats on the freelance gig. It takes me a week or so to adjust to daylight savings. Writing schedule? Hmmm, no. I just get it done when I get to it. Might be why I'm so far behind . . . . .

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    1. Hehehehe well the lack of a writing schedule is definitely why I'm as behind as I am right now.

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  15. Congrats on your contract. Hope you get that extension you want. Hope you also work out your writing/sleeping patterns too.

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  16. Hey MIsha. Congrats on the contract. You sound like you're in a good place. I know you've got ambitions for your writing. I recommend the 20booksto50k FB group if you're not already in it. I read the posts every morning and they've been so helpful, especially re launches and promo.

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    1. I'm not sure if I belong to that one yet. I'll check it out. Thanks for the information. :-)

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  17. Great to hear about the contract! Being a blood courier has intensified for me so I am having less and less time to write and visit my blog friends -- hence my absence from the blogverse. We do what we can, right? Thanks for visiting my own blog. :-)

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    1. Yeah absolutely. I think I'll be able to really get back to my blog now, but it's still tricky. :-/

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  18. I'm glad that writing is going well for you, especially in terms of the new job. You deserve good things, lots of them! And I know what you mean about the schedule. I always resolve to go to bed before midnight and wake up before 7 AM, but what always happens is I end up watching YouTube videos well past midnight and waking up later than I should. The only way I'm able to discipline myself is when I have to teach in the morning; otherwise, it's really easy to let sleeping patterns fall by the wayside.

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