July 16th, 2019

Ah, sleep; the bane of my existence. All of my data points to you as the one obstacle standing between me and writing five novels a year instead of three. You allow me to function to a level I didn’t think possible before because I had no idea how huge the deficit I ran week on week became. And yet, when I manage to get into bed on time – well ahead in fact – you elude me like the cruel temptress you are. Curse ye.

Ok so now I try and ward off imaginary readers with semi-poetic lovers prose on abstract concepts instead of Magic cards. I mean, I guess it’s less nerdy? But the broader point stands: I did manage to get over 8 hours sleep last night, but I was in bed ready to by 8 and settled by 9, and fell asleep at well gone 11. Two hours to fall asleep? That’s a little bit grim.

It’s also far from an isolated problem. Several nights over the short time since April that I began tracking this data the “bed at X, settled by X+1, asleep by X+3” pattern shows its head. When you consider I lose half an hour to 45 minutes of rest over that sleep a night, that means to hit 8 hours I have to sacrifice 11. Eleven hours, almost half the day, gone. That’s not sustainable in any way.

So why am I taking quite so long to drop off, and losing so much restful sleep over each night? I know a few factors, some of which are easier to tweak. Changing for some fresher bedsheets will help, as will looking at aromas like lavender which helped in the past. That’s a good start – and just good adulting in general – but the bigger change I need to bring about is routine.

Yesterday I wrote target on my lunch break, and I need to keep that up best I can. I will be doing so today no matter what, and if I leave work at 5 will be grabbing myself some Hoisin sauce as a reward. That would be a huge deal for me, not least because if I produce WHT, then I have written the project 7 days in a row – and just shy of 8,000 words within that. That would I believe make this the most productive 7 day stretch since the initial scrap-and-start-again.

On that note, isolating only days this month, I have achieved an 80% efficiency rating for WHT. That is huge, as my target for 2020 will be that across the year as a whole, so managing it on a 4.4% sample is a great start. That is far from the whole ball game, but putting up results like that is going to be what makes the long term difference.

My next target is the various writing contests of WattPad. They will be stiff competition, but each contest I can win is a tiny bit more exposure for my platform. I have a circle of WattPad friends now, so with a little luck and encouragement, I should be able to nudge a few of them to take part too. Does this help me? Well, that’s simple: directly, not in the slightest, but it’s a little added good karma here and there.

I have to start thinking about if becoming a WattPad Discord moderator is a goal I want to aim for. From an exposure point of view, I don’t see many benefits. However, as one day I hope to launch my own server, that could be a valuable experience, and help earn some karma off of the server owners to help set up my own space in a year or so’s time.

The plan is coming together, slow and steady. This will take a long time to pull off, but making these small steps each day will add up in time. Persistence and activity are key.