Monday, March 7, 2016

Are there benefits to writing through exhaustion?

Seriously? How can writing while fatigued possibly be productive? It may sound ridiculous, but my writer friends will understand this article slant very well. In order to make money writing, we have to write a lot. Burning the midnight oil is a given. It can be tiring. It can also be very inspiring. Plus, I'm one of those people who looks for the good in everything. So, here's the benefits of writing when you should be sleeping.

Dream-state promotes idea generation

Have you ever drifted off into dreamland while writing? I certainly have and quite often. What's the greatest thing about dream-state? Inspirational, unique thought trains, of course. Now, you may not want to include those purple unicorns in your article. On the other hand, you usually dream about whatever you were thinking about when you went to sleep. At least, I do. It may be a twisted dream and that's OK. It takes you out of your normal way of thinking and often generates new ideas.

More motivation to get it done

When you're tired, you pretty much want one thing. You want to lay your head on your pillow, cover up and say nighty-night. Unfortunately, you have a deadline. When I'm tired, I work faster so I can say hello to my pillow and my comfy bed. This inspiration may not work for everyone. Also, there may be editing to do in the morning. Still, having sleep as a reward makes me more likely to get it done.

Great for outlining

There are times when I'm just too tired to write or sleep. I need something to do. Preferably something that isn't too involved. That's when I write my outlines. Once again, that half dream-state really helps. Most of my articles are of the “how to” variety. That means I need a first paragraph and several tips in the form of subtitles. Drifting into dream state releases my subconscious mind. That allows me to come up with new and original ideas on the subject at hand. Plus, writing outlines isn't so involved that it requires deep thought.

Less stressful

For some reason, we writers find working as night owls less stressful than working during the day. There are fewer distractions from family members, for one thing. Late at night, they're pretty much all entertaining themselves or fast asleep. The housework is done. For those of us with regular jobs, the work-day is over. All we have to do is relax and type away. Being a little tired seems like a small trade off compared to dealing with the hustle and bustle of the day.

Naps bring even more ideas

There are, of course, those times when we give in to the sleep fairy. That's OK. Guess what? We wake up refreshed with a laptop in front of us. What better time is there to dash off a few lines or create a whole new article? Everyone's definitely in bed now. That leaves us alone with our thoughts and a blank page. What more could a writer ask for?

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