Insomnia, procrastination, and the bane of my existence.

I can’t sleep. For weeks I’ve been battling through the nights in a desperate search for the mythical sandman who can bring about the sleep that has been so consistently deserting me. My nights have become a mixture of time wasting feats such as watching episode after episode of Family Guy, re-watching the Dark Knight saga, and staring at the roof of my bedroom contemplating the direction of my life.

It’s not the first time that I’ve been struck with a serious bout of restlessness and I’m sure that it won’t be the last. The key to overcoming this stint of sleep deprivation is to break down and identify why my mind has gone into overdrive as of late and develop a means of overcoming the affliction. It’s not like I don’t want to sleep. Between you and me, I’m fucking exhausted. I manage to stumble through each day fueled by a dangerously high level of caffeine coursing through my veins, but it just doesn’t compare to a decent night’s sleep.

My insomnia could be stemming from any number of things both professional and personal. My work life balance has spiraled dramatically out of control recently and I am spending increasingly large portions of my day trapped at my desk, which in turn has seen a reduction in time spent exerting physical energy. This in turn could be enough to spark a serious case of restlessness, and in the past this has been the reason behind my inability to sleep.  But I honestly believe that my current bout of insomnia is stemming from a little thing called procrastination. Since my last post I have completed the first draft of my manuscript, traveled overseas and survived the crazy time of year we know as the holiday season. What I haven’t managed to do though is start the all-important editing process that I alluded to back in December’s blog update.

I’ve had a few sporadic half-hearted attempts at editing, however if I was to be truly honest with myself I’ve been avoiding diving headfirst into the process, and now my mind and body is suffering as a result. Editing is the bane of my existence. There’s nothing worse than moving from the dizzying highs of completing a manuscript to the horrible realisation that you now have to track back through the document dozens of times until every minute detail has been rendered perfectly. I’ve been through the process a few times before, and it usually results in me despising a piece of work that I once loved. When you spend hour upon hour deconstructing something you worked so hard to create you can become so obsessed with the process that you begin to view your manuscript as a broken artwork in desperate need of a rewrite. 

I think that it’s this last point that has seen me so content to procrastinate over the editing process of my latest work. As I mentioned last time it has been over six years in the making, and I just don’t know if I am ready to shatter the love affair that I have created with my characters just yet. I know that it is a necessary evil, and the sooner that I edit, the sooner I can re-enter the slush-pile of writers bombarding publishers with manuscripts in the hopes of seeing my work in print.

So why am I still procrastinating? Even now I should be editing, not writing about it. I’m doing it again.  But hopefully this post with be therapeutic. People say that admitting your issues is the first step towards dealing with them. So here it is; my issue is that editing is the one part of my craft that I despise. Now that I have admitted this hopefully I can move forward and start to tackle the process and see it through from start to finish. God knows that I need to; if not for the sake of my manuscript than for the sake of my own sanity. I don’t know how many more nights I can spend mapping out the landscape of my bedroom ceiling. I need sleep, and I need to finalise the editing of this manuscript so that I can move onto the next. My head is already overflowing with ideas and plot points just waiting to spill onto pages, but I need to close one door before I open another. 

Author: Chris Nicholas

Chris Nicholas is an author from Brisbane, Australia. He has published two novels, and is currently working on his third.

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