As many of you regular bloggees know, way back in mid December, I endured the agony of caffeine withdrawal when I gave up all hot, cold, and solid forms of the legal drug. For three and a half months now, I've kept my body and mind clear of the addictive ingredient. Then came yesterday. A rainy Sunday morning when I knew I had to get up and go to church, but I longed to wallow in bed just another half-hour or so. I awoke to the aroma of French Vanilla coffee brewing in our bedroom's mini-pot. . .and, at my temptor/husband's urging. . .I caved. Just one luxurious cup with a dash of half-and-half, but that sweet indulgence--oh, what ecstacy!
Fast forward some eighteen hours to 1:30 a.m. Then two. Three. Four o'clock. And I'm wide awake. The only explanation I can give for my sleepless night loops back to that one measly caffeine-infusion, backsliding experience. After the months-long absence of caffeine in my veins, its reintroduction sent my body chemistry's sensitivities to new heights.
I've noticed the same principle at work in my writing. When I've lived with a story for months on end and immersed myself in its addictive pull, I find it's hard to be clear-headed when the time comes for a final review before sending it off to the editor. However, If I've allowed myself enough time in the schedule to pull back and put the story away for awhile, when I come back, I discover a heightened sensitivity and new "eyes." Time and again, I (pleasantly) surprise myself when I read a line I distinctly remember slogging through during the first draft. Wow, that's not bad. Not bad at all. Did I really write that?
So, while I most certainly do not recommend revisiting a caffeine habit, another go at a manuscript after a lengthy respite might be a positive addiction to support. Now, if I can just stay awake until bedtime tonight and avoid a repeat performance of last night! At least I have sufficient incentive to continue my caffeine sessation. skd