Thus the calming blue of today’s number.
Today’s post is easy, because I don’t need to convince myself to get more sleep. I’m already a believer.
The problem is the computer, calling to me late at night. The bright screen, those colors scintillating across my retinas, movies at my fingertips, games galore, websites that connect to other websites, Netflix, Twitter, blogs upon blogs. It’s the black hole of time!
It’s a wonder I get anything done at all. The other night my daughter moaned, “I sat down two hours ago to write something, and all I’ve done so far is read Facebook posts.” I tried not to look parental when I said, “Gee, I wonder how that happened.” But I’m just as guilty. My latest time-waster was watching NBC’s 30 Rock for the 5th time — the entire series, in about 3 weeks. There went October.
Several years ago I canceled my cable subscription and was stunned by how much work I was able to accomplish when I didn’t watch TV programs. That was before Hulu and Netflix. Now that I can watch programs online, I’m once again spending far too much time in the vast wasteland that is electronic entertainment. On top of that are the studies reporting that using electronic devices late at night interferes with sleep patterns (see this NYTimes blog post for details). Yes, we got Trouble in River City, with a capital T and that rhymes with C and that stands for Computer!
NaNoWriMo gives me the reason I need to cut the cord and use my time for better things. Cold turkey. It’ll be painful, but the results linger well into December.
Thus, my pledge: During November, I’ll use my computer for writing only*, turning it off at midnight, no matter what. I’ll read for an hour, and then fall into blissful sleep (with a notepad on my bedside table, for those middle-of-the-night brainstorms).
*Sadly, this has to include email — work and personal. I can’t yet completely cut myself off from the rest of the world, but I can limit time spent doing those social media things. I’ve put a timer by my computer and will set it for 1 hour of non-NaNo work before I start each day’s writing.