Finding Time To Write

Finding Time To Write

Last year Sally had heart valve replacement surgery and I had a total knee replacement. All of that went very well, but needless to say, a lot of unessential things “went by-the-board” and did not get attended to. One of these many things was any serious writing on my part.

I am therefore trying to get my circadian rhythms adjusted to achieve a disciplined writing schedule starting this Fall.

My private practice weekly work-cycle in M-W during afternoons through early evenings. Therefore, with just a two-hour adjustment to my sleep-wake cycle, I can carve-out of my normal days about a four-hour slot to do nothing but my research and writing.

I have tried doing these things during the daytime, but dogs bark, phones ring, door bells ding, and there are good reasons to communicate with my wonderful wife, Sally. All in all, an uninterrupted extended time to focus on this daunting and seemingly endless project is impossible during normal work hours.

I learned this lesson In the 1970’s when I wrote my first of my two books and somehow forgot it over the intervening decades. I will plead the cognitive infirmities of old age.

Anyway, I find that if I work from 9:00 PM till 12:00-1:00 AM, I am able to begin to get back into a productive writing mode. I can then sleep-in until about 9:00 AM and get the sleep I need (7-8 hrs.) to feel good and, I hope, also responsibly care for my health.

I like this schedule for many reasons. I can also have plenty of time with Sally, family and friends and not neglect the other things that need to be attended to in life.

The only down-side to this creative schedule that I can see at this time is a moderately uncomfortable start-up period. I confess to experiencing some periods of extreme fatigue during the my first week of acclimation to this new schedule. Now, in my second week of this schedule, I am finally feeling normal levels of physical comfort and energy once again.  I will continue to monitor my adjustment to this new wake-sleep cycle and will do a follow-up blog about it if it causes me any physical, mental acuity, or irritability problems.

I recall that my adjustment period was much easier when I worked this schedule while writing in my 30’s, verses now that I am 71 years. Ugh!

I have described all of this in my blog for two reasons. First, it is a way to get my creative juices flowing and to make a public verbal commitment to this schedule and the demands of a disciplined writing effort. Secondly, you may find that some similar adjustments to your own wake-sleep cycle will help you to pursue your special projects or dreams that have been on hold because of seemingly impossible time-scheduling problems.

In any event, warm regards and best wishes to you!

Tom Mawhinney

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