Monday, January 18, 2010

To Sleep or to Write?

It's often a toss-up between the two, and lately sleep has won. However, I've found in order to evade sleep deprivation, I am only inviting writing deprivation. I've neglected my writing, and I am paying the price. Oddly enough, I am finding that the symptoms for writing deprivation closely resemble those of sleep deprivation.

You may recognize a few or all of the following:

As writing is time YOU take for YOURSELF, you find yourself a LITTLE MORE IRATE if you do not take this time. IN FACT, YOU MAY TAKE TO BLOGGING IN ALL CAPS.

Being out of writing practice, you find it difficult to concentrate on your manuscript, and instead you turn to blogging, Facebook, and Twitter for inspiration.

When you return to writing after so long, you find you have forgotten a few essentials, peppering your manuscript with adverbs and tagging everything spoken.

Everyday you see your laptop sitting neglected and unopened, you feel sad.

You start to feel a little heartsick because you miss your make-believe friends, especially as their very existence depends on you.

Stressed-induced hypertension may occur because you wanted to get your manuscript out to agents months ago. I mean, if only you would STOP SLEEPING, you would be sitting on the next NYT bestseller, right?

Whole passages of dialogue come to you, but you put off writing them down. As a result of consciously suppressing these voices, your beloved characters' speech may begin to slur just before falling silent.

Your typing fingeres have lain idle much too long, and sometimes your fingers begin to twitch as you start to type thoughts and ideas into space. These twitches are often mistaken for tremors.

Sometimes your characters come to you. They are mad. Very mad. Stop talking to me.

I have concluded since all above symptoms of writing deprivation so closely match those of sleep deprivation, EVERYTHING must be considered. Therefore, when I read the experts' report that sleep deprivation can actually be fatal (determined by a bunch of very tired, now-dead mice) I decided to find a better balance between sleeping and writing. Yes, if you stop writing, it may kill you. And I choose life.


  1. This is a very cool list. I've definitely experienced several of those symptoms. I get kind of jittery if I stay away from my writing too long. I hope you have a great week and get some sleep and do some writing!

  2. haha, oh I relate.

    Why must it be one or the other? A lack in either one is detrimental to our health.

    Well, I wish you luck with finding that balance. Let me know when you figure out the perfect formula!

  3. Please share with all of us sleep-deprived moms if you do find the perfect balance. I've yet to figure that out:)

  4. Looks like your adorable little one is worth some sleep-deprivation and time off from the writing world. It is a struggle to balance life, but coming from a Mom whose only daughter will be graduating in May, enjoy every moment with your family!! God bless!

  5. That is hilarious! I think they need to add this diagnosis to all the medical journals. It clearly has all the hallmarks of a serious condition. Also writing deprivation can seriously contribute to sleep deprivation since it's hard to sleep when there's a scene that NEEDS to be written. It's a vicious, vicious cycle!

  6. Candice-I'll try to submit it to WebMD, and see if it takes.

  7. Corey-Thanks!

    Myrna-I had first draft syndrome last fall. I just don't talk to my neighbors.

  8. Yes, yes...these are all symptoms I experience. Incredible, isn't it?

  9. Shelley-You'll have to settle with me being your nurse.

    Shelli-I believe panic would induce hypertension.

    Kristi-Glad you agree.

  10. LOL. I love it.

    "Sometimes your characters come to you. They are mad. Very mad. Stop talking to me."

    Depending on the character, this can be pretty scary :P

  11. Void-Actually I haven't had any of my bad guys come to me. I guess I need to prepare myself should that happen.

    Lois-Prolife, that's me.

  12. Well, you obviously haven't lost your ability to be creative!!