Being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), sleepless nights is a topic for which I am uniquely qualified. It is hard to shutdown an overactive brain. Many of my nights are spent writing, journaling, or list making. Writing is a great way to pass the time. These are my top 5 reasons that writing is better than sleeping.
Reasons From 5 to 1
# 5 – Writing is a great excuse for being tired in the day. Face it, if you tell a teacher or boss, “I was up all night: watching tv, gaming, reading a novel, [or] because I just couldn’t sleep,” no sympathy will be bestowed upon you. If instead you say, “I was up all night writing: a novel destined to be a best seller, a poem about you, getting my thoughts down on paper to clear my head.” They will think that you are brilliant. Or possibly be empathetic to you as a troubled artist. Verses thoughts of you as a slacker who chose to waste time instead of sleeping.
Tip: If you use “the poem” excuse be prepared to share, they will want to hear it, in fact spend the next couple of nights writing some very nice poems that will be readily available for just such an occasion, then you are free to write on other topics. Also if you have a writing assignment due and you’ve procrastinated by watching tv, gaming, etc. it might be a good idea to write that instead of sleeping.
# 4 – Dreams can be so random and perplexing; writing rather than sleeping allows for control over the subject, momentum, and outcome of dreams.
Tip: Keep a notepad and writing instrument close by at night incase you wake during a dream. Write it all down, work out the puzzle and finish the dream the way you want it to turn out.
# 3 – Writing while your pets, parents, siblings, child(ren) and/or spouse are snoozing allows for recognition of beauty. Anyone with a toddler, past or present, knows exactly what is meant here. Even puppies and bunnies are adorable when they sleep. They are so precious when they sleep! If you write while they sleep you can be productive and record your admiration, to read later when they are driving your poor sleep-deprived mind to the breaking point.
Tip: Dim your computer screen before going to bed. Flooding a dark bedroom with brilliant light from a laptop while an overworked spouse is trying to sleep may wake something you don’t want to deal with in the middle of the night…learned this one the hard way!
# 2 – Nighttime may be the only quiet-time you get, although you never know what could be lurking in the dark. Your imagination likely works best when you have time to just think. The lack of distraction is part of the reason we hear creaking sounds in old houses and footsteps down the hall mainly at night.
Tip: Writing is your weapon against anything scary or evil, hopefully!
# 1 – Rarely does anyone get awards, accolades, kudos, or money for sleeping. No one says, “Oh, you’re a sleeper! That’s cool.” If “A” grades or marketing sales resulted from sleep, it would be worth the time. No best selling novelist, award winning journalist, nor writing enthusiast has slept a full restful night while deep in the creative process. A little sleep deprivation allows for a creative edge that is unattainable without the passion or compulsion that keeps the writer going and going….
Tip: Be cautious of turning in academic, professional, legal or other very important papers until someone fully awake has proofread it. But, then again, sending it at 4am may be a good excuse for less than stellar works and may evoke sympathy from the reader, especially if they are also lacking sleep.
Why do you choose to write instead of sleep?
Guest Bio: Rhonda Buckhold is a writer and recent addition to the Fine Lines editing team. She is currently working on a novel, Booted, about workplace bullying in the military. Instead of sleeping she writes about life experiences, of being a military family, marriage, motherhood, dealing with adult ADHD, growing up poor in Western Nebraska, and even her pet rabbits. She has a degree in Interpersonal Communication from Creighton University. As the future unfolds, she plans to continue staying up at night working on a website and blog, “survivorspouse” for teaching and sharing better communication and relationship skills for the challenges of life; failure is not an option!