Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Welcome aboard the Crazy Train

All wakes and no sleeps makes Susan a cranky zombie. All wakes and no sleeps makes Susan a cranky zombie. All wakes and no sleeps makes Susan a cranky zombie.All wakes and no sleeps...
I haven't had a full night's sleep in three days now, and it's starting to take a toll. I go to bed every night tired and ready to close my eyes and drift off to the land of dreams and drool, but I don't seem to be able to drift very far. The body is at rest, the eyes are in the shut and relaxed position, but the brain seems to wait until I am horizontal and then hits overdrive.

I've elminated all the usual culprits (caffeine, bad dietary choices, and nocturnal cat wanderings are not to blame for this.) and was starting to wonder what the hell was going on when I got my first hint as to what had gone awry.  It was 3 o'clock this morning when I had the first nightmare.

Now, I'm what more than one guidance counsellor as described as an "interesting mix" of personality traits. Which is polite phrasing for "how the hell do you manage to function?"  I am a creature of clutter, an artistically tempered creative force who can go for days writing and plotting and forgoing things like food and showers and housework. I am also in a math oriented career and obsessive about deadlines. I require my electronic data to be put into nice, orderly folders with clear labels where they reside inside a computer that's decorated with empty coffee mugs and bills that are eternally on the verge of being paid late. I can't explain it, it's just the way I'm made.

This "interesting mix" means that I often act and feel unconcerned about looming deadlines, while my subconscious is busy twisting itself into panicky pretzels and depriving me of sleep. I have edits due back to my publisher, a self imposed deadline on when I want to finish the rough draft of my next WIP, and two guest blog appearances coming up in the next week and apparently that was just too much for the Type A portion of my make-up to cope with. So I found myself waking up in a cold, panicked sweat at 3 am this morning, heart pounding and bleary eyed, convinced I had somehow managed to miss some key deadline that had completely destroyed my fledgling writing career. Remember those exam anxiety dreams back in your school days? The ones where you arrive at school naked or your test is all in Greek?  Same idea. Ugh.

Having reminded myself that everything was under control and finally getting my heartbeat back under 100 bpm, I managed to doze off again. Until 3:45, when I came flying out of bed for the second time. Same dream, and now my cat was giving me the "what the hell is your problem?" look. Recognizing the pattern, I decided to forgo twenty minutes of sleep to fire up the computer and prove to my panic-stricken self that no, there were no life shattering deadlines I'd missed. No, the website I had dreamed of did not exist, and in no universe was I about to be hunted down and flogged for my failures. I finally got back to sleep about 4. At least the nightmares stopped.

And so today I put aside my writing to clear out some of the pending projects. The edits are back with the publisher. The interviews are written. And now maybe, just maybe I can get some sleep. Because my muse is currently right ticked at me, and she's not talking. Apparently she needs some REM sleep too.