Monday, October 1, 2012

Never Write While Sleep Deprived

Buy The Naughty Angel HERE!

By Shiela Stewart

**Yawns** forgive me if I ramble a bit today. I’m going on day three of having very little sleep. No, I have not been up all night writing. That would be nice.  I’ve had a few rough days and nights dealing with some personal issues. Enough said. Anywho…back to what I was talking about. Writing with very little sleep. Have you ever done it? Did you actually accomplish anything? Were you able to read it?

The reason I ask is that I have written while on little sleep. And trust me, it was not readable. But at the time, I had a great idea and it couldn’t wait. I had to write it now. Since I couldn’t sleep, I sat in my living room, laptop ready and began to type like a mad woman. The ideas rolled out of me in a flow I’ve never felt before. I couldn’t type fast enough, my fingers flew across the keyboard like lightning.  As I wrote I told myself this was the one that was going to take me to the top. Three hours later I hade several chapters done and sleep was calling. I saved the document then staggered off to bed. Despite being dog tired, I was hyped up about the epic novel I had just started. For the first time in days, I slept like a baby.

I should have stayed asleep.

Excited, I woke, ran to my laptop even before having breakfast and opened the document. I stared at the screen, blinking as if that would change what I saw before me. Nope, nothing changed. It was still crap.  There wasn’t a single sentence in the five chapters that made sense. I kid you not. Picture yourself, eyes closed, typing away. Now open your eyes. How well did you do? Probably better than I did while sleep deprived. My sentences looked similar to this:

Asdjoiefn gruhlasd ueoihas sa[ksdnkcfpos

Seriously! Yet in my mind, and in my sleep deprived vision I saw sentences of great writing. Paragraphs that were off the charts.

And do you think I could remember any of the idea when I woke? Nope, not a trickle came to me. How is that possible? People do strange things while sleep deprived. I wrote the greatest crap story ever written. I’ve learned my lesson. If I’m too tired to think, or I’ve gone days with little sleep, I don’t write.
Anyone ever have an experience like mine? What did you do while sleep deprived?

Leave a comment (don’t forget your email address!) for a chance to win one of my books from Decadent Publishing of your choice!


  1. Sleep is important even for authors LOL! Carin
    mawmom at gmail dot com

  2. With three children under the age of 3 years, decided to make myself a dress. That dress never did get worn, WHAT A DISASTER, and like your experience, what a waste of time. Get some sleep, and get on with the writing.

  3. Traveling on little sleep is a big adventure. I feel so giddy and full of energy, I just flit everywhere and everything is funny. When the lack of sleep starts to catch up, I laugh at
    everything and I mean everything. I just giggle uncontrolably and eventually I fall asleep.
    luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com.

  4. I miss sleep. But lately if I get 6 full hours in a row I find myself more tired.

    smurfettev AT gmail DOT com

  5. I can sleep easily ,lucky me. But now not more than 5 cuz at night i usually reading till 3 in the morning.
    I can't read if too many distraction.

  6. This sounds great!! Id love to read it! Ive had crash burnouts. I once stayed up for over 48 hours. I couldnt sleep. When i get tired, i laugh. Even at stupid things. Sometimes, werid thoughts go through my head and make me laugh harder. I dont work or do anything good when im tired. Thanks for sharing and for the great giveaway!

  7. Sleep is definitely a must. Lack of it and our brains are mush. LOL
    Thanks for stopping by Carin.

    Ann, when my kids were little, the only time I had to do stuff for myself was when they went to bed. I would spend three hours writing then head to bed. When they were all in scholl I did a little dance. I had all day to myself. :)

    You sound like me Julianne. When I start giggling and can’t stop my kids and hubby all say, “Oh god, mom is overtired.” LOL

    Hi Sheri! I used to feel like that too. Now, if I get less than 6 I am a mess.

    You are lucky, Rosalina! Every little noise wakes me up.

    48 hours Shadow! Were you a walking zombie? LOL

    Thanks so much everyone for stopping in and sharing your experience with lack of sleep.
    Julianne, you are the lucky winner!! Congrats!! Go to my page on the Decadent site and chose your book.
    Now everyone, go get some sleep. :)

  8. I forgot to leave my email addy for you to send your book choice, Julianne. See, lack of sleep...LOL

  9. isn't always better to have 'something' on the page! LOL Yes, I go through that. This is excatly why I quit writing after dinner. My brain isn't wired to keep going once I've finished with dinner duties. So I give it the rest it deserves LOL Mind you, sometimes those deadlines don't give me that luxury. Then I try finish up by 9 or I'll have pages of mush and a brain of mush!!

  10. I'm very much like JoAnne. Once the kids are in bed, my brain doesn't function well enough to write anything new. Sometimes I'll just transfer over notes, but I very rarely write when I'm tired. And if I do, I just have to rewrite in the morning.

    All the best, Shiela!

  11. Just wanted to pop in and say Hi! I totally recognized your "odd" sentence...been there, done that...still do it.

  12. Blogger hates me, Shiela. This is the third time I've tried to post, lol.

    Anyway, I've done the same re lack of sleep. Also, writing when ill produces garbage. After having to hit 'delete' so many times when I've written while sick, I don't even try. I just wait until I feel better.

  13. In college, I wrote most of papers between 10pm and 4am...the night before they were due, of course! If it's just one night, I can make it work. Trying to write after three days of sleep deprivation? I don't think so. While I generally agree with Faith on the "don't write while sick" advice, I know that what happened to one of my heroes in Forge after his capture was a result of drafting that scene while I had bronchitis and pleurisy. Nasty, nasty combination.

  14. I've scribbled plenty of fabulous ideas in the dark when I wake and don't want to disturb husband - only to find the fabulous ideas are illegible in daylight! But I can't write when I'm tired - it's useless trying!