It is 6:30am, and the windows in my office are steamed over with humidity. I went to bed about six hours ago. This is not a good thing.

If you know me in person (and be glad you don’t this morning), you know that six hours of sleep does not a happy Andi make. Less than six hours of sleep for two nights in a row is an even worse thing for this woman. I’m bleary eyed, thirsty, foggy-headed and a little over-stressed. This is not how I want to feel. 'saturated writing' photo (c) 2007, Eduardo - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Yet, my choices this week have led to this early morning state. I did not heed my own needs, and I especially did not heed this advice that author Michael Warden gave over on Jeff Goins’ blog last week:

Set up writing hours and keep them faithfully no matter what. This is your daily practice. Inspiration favors the faithful.

Instead, I’ve been squeezing in my writing time. My body and my writing are now suffering for this.

All the things I’ve been doing rather than writing are great things – visiting new babies, taking a beautiful woman out for her birthday, showing my cousins around Washington, D.C. – and that’s why I chose to do them.

The trouble with choosing them is that I don’t want to put aside my writing to do them, and thus, I’m wiped out and resentful. I begin to get wrongfully frustrated with the people who have asked me to do these things. But the reality is, I’m the one who decides how I spend my time. I just need to make better choices and learn that even though my writing time is flexible and may seem, even to myself sometimes, less than actual work, it is still my work, my job, my passion.

Something positive has come out of this latest jag of activity (for I have done this before, of course) – For the first time, I find myself really eager to write, even when I’m really tired. My project, my work with words has finally become ingrained in me enough that when I don’t do it, I miss it. I count that as a blessing.

Now, to the IHOP French toast, buckets of coffee, and D.C. — with a notebook in hand.

Other Posts about Writing Practice
Night Writing: Lessons on a Writing Schedule

The Glory of 3,000 Words: The Fruits of a Disciplined Writing Practice

The Secret Is Acceptance: How to Write a Book (I Think)