Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sleep = Necessary Evil

Over the weekend, I was struck with a rather potent disease that has no name, and only one cure....

The disease is known as "Writer's Block." The cure is to run, not walk, away from your writing for a period of about a day and a half and play video games, read a book, and sleep. Emphasis is important here; please notice the word sleep is italicized. You will understand better in the next paragraph. Promise.

I like to see myself as a dedicated person. You may not always see me on the honor roll (hell, I never was) but I was always dedicated to something. I throw my whole being into something and do it as hard as I can. In my early days and into high school, it was baseball. In some weird interim between high school and some college existence, it was video games and its industry. Since then, it's been concerned primarily with telling stories through any medium, be it novels (my first and foremost love), short stories, screenplays, or even video games; I just love telling a good story. Sounds great, eh? Well, it is... until I get caught up and realize the sun is coming out because I have forgotten to sleep. (See?) I tend to neglect important things like food or sleep when I get going on something I'm passionate about, and that led to some problems over the past couple months, and honestly, led to a little bit of a burn-out for me. But do not fear! For it -- like a particularly awful kidney stone -- has passed... although not in the same manner.

It isn't a problem that I think is very common -- I think most people are not going to forego sleep to find out what is happening in their story, particularly because it is theirs, so how could they not, am I right? Well, I realized that my lack of sleep led to some truly spectacular output (end of the first draft is just over the horizon, people! get champaigne and streamers ready!) but it also wore on me. I learned that the simple things -- keeping your workspace clean, eating healthy, and sleeping are all terrific ways to keep yourself from burning out, and if you have already burned out, or just suffering from writer's block, it is a great way to resituate yourself in your environment, and get back to your story.

I think that was one of my friendliest blog-posts in a while...


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