Saturday, January 1, 2011

Resolution: Nap More?

The Answer--Napping
New Year’s Day, and what are my resolutions? Only one I’ll seriously work at. That’s to organize my time better so I can write regularly. It seems to me that having a consistent time every day trains your brain. After a few days, things start to flow more easily at that hour. Since I’m a morning person, I’ll wake up thinking about the book. If I can write for an hour or so every day before work, I can probably keep it going and get a little more done at lunch. Not much in one day, I know, but it adds up. And then there are weekends. Maybe a little time out for this blog and Facebook, but once I’m into a story, the words come more easily. It sort of runs through my head in the background, like a softly playing radio.

Young Winston

When I write, I see the scenes like a movie. Directing’s kind of fun. If it’s not working, I can have the characters do it again another way.

What I really want is to get more out of each day, but how? Winston Churchill, whom I admire tremendously, took a short nap every day and found it refreshed him so much he could accomplish almost two days work in one. That’s an idea worth trying. But when to work in the nap? I have a friend who naps for thirty minutes after supper, and then he’s good for another four or five hours. I’d have to set a mighty alarm to wake up that soon, but maybe I’ll try it. On a Friday, so if it doesn’t work as I hope, I’d have a day to recover. That’s my only idea. Have any to share?

My friend Maryn Sinclair is a nighthawk. She’s sharp and thoughtful late in the day and likes working into the wee hours. (Must be a good plan—her sizzling new book is coming out from Loose Id this spring.) I don't think she naps at all.

After dark I’m more like a denizen of Helm’s Deep. Of course, Aragorn could probably wake me up.

How do you do it? Any magic formulas?


Maryn said...

Writing is part determination and part discipline. Talent is necessary, but if you don't work at it, the most talented among us will never see their work in print. Writing can sometimes be stressful, demanding, and depressing, and it's hard to shrug off the negative aspects and move forward. But that's what we must do. Never give up. Find that time, even if it's half an hour a day. Bet that half an hour turns into an hour or more. Go! Do it!

And I do nap sometimes. Unfortunately, it's when I'm writing.

Ellis Vidler said...

Wise words, Maryn. You've persisted and your talent has grown through it. And it's paying off! I'm hoping you'll go one step further and blog here one day, maybe when it's closer to your pub date.

Maryn said...

I probably just said everything I have to say. ;-)