No, I’m not going to sell you a new mattress. I’m just curious.
Because if you’re not, then your writing will suffer. Just your writing, because there are literally no other ill effects associated with lack of sleep.
Of course, some writers are night writers, and the notion has been romanticized into a kind of mythic truism. But even night writers have to sleep sometime.
If all stories are born of dreams, then sleep must be the foundational act of all writing. So, as I compose this post late at night, and cannot stop thinking about sleep, I am going to make a brief but bold case for a good night’s rest.
Nine out of ten immortal dream deities agree.
And you needn’t worry about the tenth immortal dream deity. Nobody likes that guy.
Your characters will thank you, too, because you’re less likely to kill them all in horrendous ways when you’re not cranky from staying up all night.
Not to mention that sleep gives you valuable experience. How can you write a story where people are asleep if you don’t know what it’s like?
All the cool kids are doing it. You don’t want to be uncool, do you?
So do yourself a favor and, wherever you happen to be right now, just fall asleep. Do it for your old pal, Mr. Horne. If anyone has a problem with that, you tell them to take it up with me.
I’m sorry if you were expecting something more. I really am beat right now. And though I’m too tired to look up the actual studies on the subject, I can tell you that regular and sufficient sleep is crucial to the creative process. As a writer, you may find that, between your day job and your writing, your downtime is squeezed pretty tight. The temptation to sacrifice sleep is a strong one.
But you will be a better writer if you make time for it. If you truly cannot sleep, due to some kind of health condition, then you have my condolences. Some insomniacs have found writing to be therapeutic during those long hours. Still, I would grant them all the gift of a good night’s rest were it within my power.
For everyone who can sleep, but feels pressured not to, I must admit that I don’t know your particular circumstance. I can’t make this choice for you. But I can tell you that a good night’s rest hones your natural abilities for whatever kind of work you are doing. There is very little in this world worth losing sleep over, and you will be a lot better equipped to face your scheduling problems if you have the clear head afforded to you by good sleep habits.
Thanks for following along. I’m going to take my own advice now, and sign off for the night.
[This week’s tagline: “Where people come…to dream.”]