Thursday, September 24, 2015

It’s not my fault, or maybe it is.

Tips for staying up late!

I’ve been blamed for a lot of late nights and lack of sleep. They’re not all related to people staying up past bedtime reading my books either. Oh, years ago best-selling NA author Brenna Aubrey mentioned how I had her up reading one of my Vampire, Witch & Werewolf books, but for the most part, I’m talking about getting stuff done.

When Sabrina Sol, a friend from college, asked if I had advice on writing with a busy schedule of a family, working and volunteering, I offered one thing: You’re going to get less sleep. Most of my work happens after the family goes to bed.

Recently, I got the funniest message from a friend who had to forgo sleep in order to solve a technical problem:

“Late last night started thinking, if Louisa can stay up this late, so can I.” – Linda Borders Killian. (Used with permission)

5 Tips for Staying Up Late

1) Plan ahead. Yes, it may seem like cheating, but seriously if you know you’re going to be burning the midnight oil sneak in a catnap. It’s amazing what a solid 20 minutes can do for you. Saranna DeWylde and Dorothy F. Shaw swear by them. Real adults are not afraid to admit they nap!

2) What are your goals? I find it’s easier to do with lack of sleep for short bursts of time, like if I’m on deadline. OCC/RWA President Nikki Prince balances an amazing amount of obligations, including a master’s degree program. You know what, though? It’s not forever. And that’s what I tell myself. Once I finish this book … well, another deadline will soon follow, but sometimes *shhh* I also lie to myself.

3) Don’t stay stationary. If I’m doing late-night writing, I need to get up and move around every half hour to forty minutes. Once the sleepies kick in, if I wash my face and take out my contacts, I’ll get refreshed for one more sprint.

4) Get a support group. If you know others are foregoing rest to get ’er done at the same time, it builds incentive to stay up late. For those who write at night, we’ve got Night Writers. (Watch out for the likes of Sascha Illyvich who has a big – supportive – bark, and Sidda Lee Rain, who’ll outpace you.) Then there are those other people in the world like Laura Drake, who get up SUPER early to do the work.

5) Caffeine. Did you think I was going to forget the magical elixir? (For some, ahem Christine Ashworth, it may be a glass of wine). Those days I run out of Red Bull, oh my. It’s beddy-by-time early.

There are plenty of other tricks not listed, like good music and a low-calorie snack – I go for pumpkin seeds, jelly beans, cereal. Something I can eat with one hand and keep typing with!

Tell me: Any advice you might offer?

Until next time,

Louisa Bacio << -- Staying up way late to write this blog post.


  1. A nap! I think I'll try that...right after dinner...

  2. Oh my,

    I love that you wrote this. This is OUR life. THIS is what we choose!

    I say "our" because most nights, we are up together. Me, you, Sidda and a handful of others. And as you know, there are nights where we could all keep going but have to give in at some point because the day job calls. Then there are other nights where our group is a ghost town and none of us can keep our eyes open.
    For me, I try and limit writing time 1:30-2:00am a night. As you know, the corporate day job I have is a big one, and since I work at home, I roll my sleepy ass out of bed around 8:30 am. If I had to do this and go into an office everyday, it would be so much harder. I would still do it though, because...
    I. WANT. IT!
    This is my dream. I want it so bad I can taste it, but truth be told, sometimes I hate the taste of it!
    Your advice to Sabrina (sweetheart that she is) was dead on... you will absolutely lose sleep.

    But we also lose TV, movies, what's happening in the world, (Hell, most my info comes from what I see on FB or Twitter) Sometimes when on deadline we miss plans with friends. We miss a lot in order to chase this wild and wonderful dream when we still have to work a day job.

    Is it worth it? Somedays, I dont know. But most other days?
    Yes...its worth it.

    Love you, chica! Great post!

    1. Ha! So much love. Yes, even we have our sleep time, and for me 4 a.m. to 5 a.m. is an absolute sweet spot. Having that support of others to help push through is the best.

      Plus, we get to celebrate each other's success. If you want it, you'll do it!