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Tips on writing when tired?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Ban, Apr 25, 2018.

  1. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

    The title explains my question pretty well I think. What tips do you know and/or have you used to overcome tiredness and the brain fog it accompanies?
  2. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    There are different types of tired. But whatever it is that's got you worn out - sleep, stress, sore muscles - it's better not to fight it, but to take a few minutes and deal with it first. A good shower, or a few minutes of upbeat music, the right snack, puppies on facebook... take the time to wake up properly and offload the day's baggage instead of pushing through it.
    summondice likes this.
  3. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    Tired is another place where I'll plug physical writing. With pen or pencil and paper, I can lie down, sit up, roll over ... wait, that's something else. I can doodle, write random stuff, and in general put brain, body or both into new positions so that I don't feel I'm "wasting" the time by doing something utterly useless like exercising. :)
  4. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

    For me, I used to have a writing session in the morning, noon, and then night. Each time of the day, I noticed there were pros and cons that came along with it.

    In the mornings, I tended to catch a lot of the small stuff that got looked over, but I also tended to over analyse and notice things that 99% wouldn't care about or even notice. During this time of day, I was way more analytical and was able to more easily think out the consequences of the choices I was making in my story.

    In the evenings, I think because I was more tired, I'd notice more things about flow and clarity. If I didn't state things clearly and/or if things were straight up jarring, this is when they'd stick out the most. But I think this was my most creative time. I found that potential solutions to things came easier during this time. BUT I had to be careful. Because I wasn't processing at 100%, my judgment on these solutions wasn't the greatest. So, I would't implement any of them or make any major changes during this time. I'd always make sure I had a chance to think on things when I was more alert before taking action. Because sometimes, I'd wake up the next day and look at some of the things I came up with during the evening and wondered what the hell I was thinking?

    In the afternoon, it was the middle ground between mornings and evenings.

    So, IMHO, take a look at what you're like when you're tired and try to work with the pros and cons that come out of it. I think the most important thing is to not expect perfection, just progress. What form that progress takes doesn't matter. Some days it may only be a few words, maybe just a list of ideas, or a point form sketch of how a scene will unfold. As long as you keep at it, you'll eventually get there.

    My 2 cents.
    Mythopoet likes this.
  5. Night Gardener

    Night Gardener Inkling

    Oh don't fight the tired. Work with it.

    The time for me to write is typically pretty late so I'm usually tired and wanting to quit the day when I start... but... I'm an insomniac, so tired happens but sleep takes a while ( if ever ) to arrive. I am a pen-to-paper person, because by the time I'm done working for the day I want nothing to do with laptops or devices or intrusive screens. I've made "writing" part of my official 'going to bed' routine. I usually write in outlines or drafts just to get ideas out of my head, sometimes I can settle in for a longer more detailed session. I also use a digital voice recorder if I'm just too tired (and achey) to sit up and physically write. If I can write for 20 minutes, an hour or more, it's all very productive. No distractions, nothing else needing to be done but write. I might brew a cup of herbal tea, but I commit to getting comfy and writing. I have a place for my current notebook in my nightstand and tuck it away when I'm done. I try to write every other night. Sometimes that isn't possible because of time or whatever. I just try to make writing as accessible, enticing and habit-like as possible. (Brush my teeth, get into jammies, stretch out a bit, get comfy and pull out my lapdesk and stationary I keep in my bedroom just for writing.) But, if I just can't do it that night, I skip it and try to rest. I use my voice recorder quite a bit when I just have to put my thoughts somewhere (before I forget) and I can rest assured that even though my body has quit for the day it's still a great way to stay engaged and keep thinking about what I'm writing... it's also great to use when you wake up and have a crazy or inspirational dream you want to remember. (Transcribing your own stream of conciousness is also an interesting experience.)

    I've heard that some writers and other creatives use photo-therapy devices to perk themselves up for a session when they're tired and swear it works to get a no caffeine energy boost.
    TheCrystallineEntity likes this.
  6. Miles Lacey

    Miles Lacey Inkling

    I get clobbered with epileptic absence seizures and sleep that comes in short patches so I'm always in various stages of tiredness. Thus, I'm not always certain if what I am doing is being affected by one or the other or both. I just write no matter how tired I am. Somehow I manage to be able to write in coherent sentences and make sense but I have a couple of people who double-check my writing to clean it up just in case.
  7. trusken_of_no

    trusken_of_no New Member

    I personally like writing when tired. My mind tends to wander more when I'm tired and that usually leads to some interesting ideas. Although I recommend going back when you're more awake and cutting what is trash.
  8. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

    I work with someone that in previous years has suffered from SAD as well a chronic tiredness. They have a bank of blue [and ultraviolet?] LEDs. It is about A3 in size that they use for 15 minutes a morning at work to kick start their day. They swear it is a cure for all that was ailing them. The ultraviolet light must be there because there is a warning against using it for too long and not use it at all if you have had laser eye surgery, replacement lenses etc.
    Night Gardener likes this.
  9. TheKillerBs

    TheKillerBs Inkling

    This really.
  10. When I write tired, interesting things happen.

    My style changes, becoming really loose and poetic. It's often better or at least more creative than the stuff written when I'm awake. The words come easier. I second others in saying that I like writing when tired.

    It needs heavy editing after though, because when tired i leave sentences unfinished, transpose words for other words that sound phonetically similar (next in place of neck) and generally just do weird stuff. It's sometimes unreadable.
  11. Darkfantasy

    Darkfantasy Inkling

    Good question.
    I find I either write amazing masterpieces when tired or amazing shite. And I often find my work in full of typos so needs editing the next day because in months when I come back to do the editing I wont understand a thing.
    My tip would be to take it slower than normal and write a little list of things to remember to include, like scene goal and things like that. Every is different when tired and I tend to go totally brain dead.
  12. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

    I use sleep deprivation to assist in writing in peculiar verse-like ramblings, heh heh. If I must write normal stuff, I kick on music, which depends on taste, but I'm only Joking and Come With Me Now by the Kongos, or Grain Kings by the Legendary Pink Dots work for me, heh heh.

    That doesn't work, it depends on time of day... sleep or exercise. Boom. Go.
  13. Helen

    Helen Inkling

    Get some sleep.
  14. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

    I asked this question 6 months ago. I have had plenty of sleep since then.
  15. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

    I'm a traditionalist. If I'm tired, I'll take a nap and refresh. I also free associate while I'm falling asleep and that's fun for creativity. When I get up, caffeine. Oh, so much caffeine. I like coffee and black cherry Mio dark enough to serve the Emperor. Pump up the music list, check my outline, and I'm ready to go.
  16. summondice

    summondice Scribe

    I appreciate that this thread was revived - it's quite timely for me. I've been editing a novel, and I keep falling asleep before I really even get started in the evenings and that simply cannot continue if I don't want this author breathing fire at me!

    That, and the evening is the best time for me to -- finally -- write a fantasy story of my own. It simply won't do any good to write a few sentences and then pass out on the keyboard :)

    I can confirm that, for myself at least, "taking a nap" will result in setting and resetting my alarm clock throughout the night until I can't justify being in bed any longer.

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