I spent the holiday season holed up in a cabin in Sun Valley, Idaho, trying to get some rest and catch up on sleep. I’ve been struggling with insomnia for a while now, and my schedule hasn’t helped: in the last six months, I’ve traveled to Palestine and Israel for a literary festival; gave talks in North Carolina, Washington, DC, and upstate New York; taught fiction at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference; and took part in the Aké Fest in Abeokuta, Nigeria. I’ve also written my regular column for The Nation and contributed essays to the Los Angeles Times on literature and to The New York Times Magazine on identity politics. But the insomnia has also given me hours and hours and hours in which to think about my new novel. I’m fairly obsessed with it, with its characters and their troubles, so I love spending time in their company. Still, the sleeplessness hasn’t been great for my health and, given what the Trump presidency is sure to bring on the political and social level, I’m determined to adopt a better routine in order to be better prepared for the fight that lies ahead.