Friday, May 20, 2011

Feed-the-Writer's-Soul-Friday- Support

I have a confession to make. I am afraid of the dark. Not because of a gremlin or a boogeyman under my bed, but because I struggle with sleep. Sometimes I have trouble going to sleep. Sometimes it’s staying asleep. Sometimes it’s both. Whatever it is, it makes life very difficult.
It’s hard to hold conversations when you can’t remember what you were talking about and even worse when you say something and you know it’s not coming out the way it sounds. It’s hard to concentrate on anything for very long when you have only had about four hours of sleep. It’s hard to teach high school level Chemistry if you can’t keep your eyes open. And when you are in survival mode, you can just kiss your imagination goodbye.

The last time I posted on my blog I was so excited about the writer’s retreat last month. It really was so much fun getting to go away by myself (almost never happens) and to travel (also almost never happens). That weekend we had good food, great speakers, ghost hunters, a painting session, and a sex toy party (which, btw, was so much fun and yet…weird). Saturday night we even tasted all kinds of different alcoholic drinks in the name of research for our writing. <wink>

But, in the middle of all the fun I was struggling with lack of sleep and basically hit a wall going 80 miles an hour. And, I crashed and burned. I came away from there wanting to quit writing. I wanted to quit homeschooling. I wanted to crawl into bed and never get out. But two things held me up. 1) going to Nationals and 2) writing friends.

See, I bought my plane ticket in March. Five hundred dollars isn’t a small chunk of change for my family. I made the commitment to go back then and I’m sticking to it. And for good or for bad, I am not going to go with an “I want to quit” mentality. Besides, I want my kids to see me as a person who has a goal and works toward it, whatever comes along.

And also I wouldn’t be writing this blog today if it wasn’t for several writing buddies I’ve made along my journey. One is a woman I met in a class who has encouraged me to stay with it with almost daily emails. When I told her I was done, she told me she wasn’t going to let me quit. She also told me of her struggle with insomnia and how she overcame it with a major change in her diet. I have since changed some things in my diet as well.

And lastly, I wouldn’t be back in the ball game if it wasn’t for Lisa Miller (from a yahoo group I’m in) who started a 50x50 challenge on the loop. The challenge is to write 50 words a day for 50 days. At first I told myself that I didn’t even have 50 words to give to my writing. Then I told myself that since I didn’t start with everyone else, I was too far behind to participate. But not so. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday she sends out an encouraging email. This past week it felt as if one of them was directed straight at me and for whatever reason, I found some time and energy to write. For the last three days I have finally worked on my WIP. My work isn’t pretty and will probably be dumped eventually, but at this point, I’m just thrilled to have put anything on paper.

How about you? Do you have anyone who keeps you gives you support and keeps you going?
That's all for now....


  1. Keep at it Michelle, we're not gonna let you quit either lady!!!

    Sorry to hear about your battle with insomnia. But take it from someone who knows, changing your diet can have a tremendous positive affect on you.

    Keep it up, one day at a time. Butt In Chair Hands On Keyboard :-)

  2. Thanks La-Tessa, for your support and for commenting. :) See ya tomorrow!!

  3. Michelle, I share this insomnia affliction with you. People who don't have it, cannot imagine how it affects one's life in such a horrible manner. As you said, it is so humiliating trying to even keep up with a conversation on four hours sleep. It makes simple things so difficult that you absolutely know you have the intelligence for. I do think it is genetic as both my children have it. A book that has helped me so very much is "Say Good Night to Insomnia," byy Gregg D. Jacobs. I'd be happy to loan it, but neither of my girls have gotten to read it yet. I still have insomnia, but not on the level I had before I read it. Interesting to see how much of it is psychological. See you tomorrow, and no, please don't stop writing. Ellen

  4. Michelle, I am so proud of you! No matter what you pull yourself together and keep on going. I love that about you. And one thing I noticed, even when you joke about lack of sleep or lack of writing you still remain positive.

    That's a hard thing to do. Admitting when you hit a brick wall is the hardest thing to do but at least you admitted it and now that it is out there you can address it.

    Don't stop writing! You told me that a few months ago, so I am throwing your words back at you. :-)

  5. @Ellen-you're right. People who don't have this can't even imagine what it's like. And I'll look for that book. I'll take any help I can find.

    @Lizzie-You are right. I did say that! And now I'm needing to hear it. It probably won't be the last time I'll need to hear it either. :)

    Thanks to all of you for being supportive and encouraging. Like I told my hubby if I never get published, that's ok. I'll have met some wonderful people along the way!

  6. Wow, Michelle! You are a fighter. Don't give up!

  7. How about we make a deal Michelle? You kick my behind and I will kick yours! LOL We both struggle in our own ways and I will do better shouting out to you and saying are you done yet? Are you done yet? Are you done yet? LOL

  8. Michelle, Hang in there! Have you tried any meds like Ambien? I only take half a pill and I'm out. Stick with your writing. A little every day is fine. Whatever schedule works for you and not against you is the one to use.

  9. I've had sleeping problems too and when I started watching when I ate (nothing after 8 pm) and staying up a half hour later and turning the computer off an hour before I got to bed, I have been sleeping better. Sleep does do wonders!

    I am so blessed whenit comes to support - I have a pair of critiquers that never give up on me and have taught me the world. I've also stumbled onto a great online teacher (Nicole North if you're interested) and so many supportive friends. I just returned from a three day retreat with 40 writer friends and Margie Lawson...WOW what a great writing boost.

    I 'quit' every now and then, but my muse won't let me be so I get right back to the computer and do what I really love...and that is writing.

    Keep on going - you are not alone in this crazy business. :)

  10. @ Lizzie-that works for me!

    @ Patricia-I have found that Elavil at night is the only thing that works for me. Not sure if it really makes me sleep better or if it just makes me not remember not sleeping well. :) Either way, I feel better when on it.

    @ Paisley-I have come to the conclusion that if I get published-YAY! If not-YAY! Why you might ask? Because this road is teaching me so much about the craft of writing but also about myself. And the best part of it all? "Meeting" wonderful people like all of you!!

  11. @ Alexa-Thanks! I'm still in the game. :)

    Thanks everyone, for the messages!