Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sleep Deprivation

Just occasionally on night work, nothing happens. Last night was one of those nights, and I had great plans. I was going to map out all the plot points for a novel I’m working on. I was going to battle my way through that one chapter that’s being a stumbling block on another story I’m working on. I was going to finally remove that vaguely good idea from my brain and pin it down on paper. And did I do any of these thing? No, I did not.

Because one problem with night work is sleep deprivation. I can hardly get a coherent sentence out at the best of times, so it’s doubly tricky when a lack of sleep makes your brain turn into damp cotton wool. Or one of those weird green spongy things you stick flowers in for flower arranging. You know, the ones that go all strange and crumbly and bits fall off everywhere. That’s my brain right now.

So here is a list of things I did on night work:

  1. Work. Well, obviously, when it came up.
  2. Listened to my iPod.
  3. Played games on my phone.
  4. Watched The Bourne Identity. And then that show from the eighties where this guy flies around in a futuristic helicopter and save girls with bad haircuts and shoulder pads. Then Magnum PI.
  5. Ate peanuts.
  6. Wrote a grand total of 468 words, most of which were misspelled, none of which advance the plot, and none of which will survive editing.

But that’s 468 more words than I would have written if I’d been asleep, right? So I’m going to count that as a moral victory. Or a Pyrrhic victory. Or something.

And tomorrow night I will do great things! 


  1. Who needs to write when you got Higgy Baby?

    And I'll never be able to stick flowers in those green sponge things again without thinking of your brain.

    The power of words at work (even if sleep-deprived).

  2. It can be incredibly hard to force yourself to write at night. My secret? Throw back a handful of the chocolate chips you bought to make cookies with the kids. :). Then get to work!

  3. When I saw the name of the post, I thought you were writing about me. My list generally looks like this:

    1. surfed internet
    2. read email
    3. read blog posts
    4. tweeted
    5. played Dragon Age 2
    6. looked around on Amazon for awhile
    7. read some bad samples on my kindle
    8. dozed, sitting up
    9. Starbuck's run

  4. Ouch. I envy that you can write (misspelled and all) when you're sleep deprived. I looked at an email I sent after 4 hours of sleep (spread over two days)...I swore I'd never touch a keyboard or pen and paper next time I was that worse off. It makes absolutely no sense and includes invented words. At least my name was spelled correctly.

  5. 468 words? I'd call that success, even with misspellings. Oh, and those shoulder pads. I do remember those days!

    Thanks for the comments over at my place. I look forward to following your progress, too.

  6. LOL at the crumbly green flowers block, so perfect :)

  7. Mood, Airwolf! Thankyou! I never watched it as a kid so I can never remember what it's called - I just know it's now on in the middle of the night some time after The Love Boat and some time before Magnum!

  8. Steve, I'm sure those green spongy things have a name, but I don't know what it is. All I know is that they are the weirdest thing ever created by man, and serve the narrowest purpose. But I like them.

  9. Hi Rebecca! I've found that chocolate is often the answer! I do okay until about two or three in the morning, then I tend to go downhill quickly. Unless it's busy, in which case I've got no time to write anyway.

    Margo, the joys of night work! Your list is very familiar, except I never doze. I just can't let it happen. I did once, and ended up drooling on my desk. And when I work up snorting, everyone had their camera phones out. Bastards.

  10. Hi Steph! I actually just sent my editor an email now with my name misspelled. And I'm allegedly awake.

  11. Thanks for following, Kenda!

  12. Jen, Maybe you could've written that 468 IN your sleep. I've done that once or twice. LOL

  13. That is always possible, Misty. It would explain the spelling mistakes, at least! Okay, that's my new story, and I'm sticking to it!



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