Authors go Hand in Hand with Sleep Deprivation

Really, I intend to sleep. No really, I do. But I get out of work and I make myself dinner. A hot cup of tomato soup with a some tea in the winter. A bright green salad with a cup of red wine in the spring, and I watch some TV as I munch away. That or read a book. But than I sit at my computer. I check the world wide web (talking to you lovely people) before pulling up word.

Click-clack, I type away like a captain to a pirate ship on the stormy seas. Right now I'm just editing, but it's worse when I write the first draft. And as I hunch over my keyboard, the time falls away, one grain of sand at a time. Maybe if I had an old fashioned face clock that tick, tick, ticks as the seconds pass by, I would notice just how late it's gotten. It could be midnight, or past three by the time I finally look up, and sometimes I'm no further along than when I first sat down to work... and I have to get up at five, or seven the next morning, but I just can't pull myself away. One more chapter, one more sentence.

So I shut off my computer and brush my teeth. I tame the tangles in my hair even though I know it'll be knotted again when I wake up. Then I lay my head on my pillow, but it's like my eyes are tapped open and the creative cricket chirp, chirps in my ear. That or my pillow keeps whispering to me. I end up throwing off the covers every time I get comfortable to stumble at my desk and jot something down. Sometimes I don't even turn on the light to do it.

The end result is blood shot, raccoon eyes when I get up in the morning.

Despite all this, I think I sleep more when I spend the day writing than I do when I spend the day bike riding or hiking. (That is, on the nights when I actually get to sleep at a decent hour.)

For the past week I've been editing like a fiend. I mean the hard core, cutting all the nonsense out and tightening the chapters kind of editing. I've been getting to bed at a reasonable time. When the creative cricket isn't chirping. And I sleep a solid eight to ten hours. Usually I get between six and eight.

I've noticed that I only sleep over eight hours when I start to work on my novel obsessively. I think it has something to do with over working the mind, but I'm not sure. Does anyone know why this might be? Does anyone else find that they sleep a lot more when they write? 


Comments

  1. Its' great to hear that you're working hard on your novel! I'm afraid I can't say the same. It's been over a month since I've written more than a few hundred words in a single day, so I can't recall how I slept then... But I think I sleep better after exhausting myself, either physically or mentally.

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    Replies
    1. But you've put it asside for a few months right? You can always start working on something else while you wait. I'll be able to get my manuscript to you by... give it a week for me to finish taking some stuff out.

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  2. Holy crap... I haven't gone to bed before 2:00 am in WEEKS... those nighttime hours are my magic writing hours! But I don't think that's why I'm tired--I do think it's the mental energy. I agree.

    So awesome you're rockin' it right now in the WIP... keep going. Keep pushing!

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    1. Thanks. =D I have a goal right now to get my manuscript out to agents by the end of April-early May.

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