A Great Friend or Horrible Adversary to the Writer – The Power Nap

Blessing or Curse, do Naps hurt or help you and your writing process?

It’s something you’ve been doing since you were young. Kids hated them. They proclaimed that they weren’t tired and that they were too grown up for naps. Their parents would not relent though. Nap time was hated by many kids for a long period of time.

Now as an adult once again the power nap enters the fray. Nothing beats going for your lunch break and passing out for a bit to regain some necessary energy for the afternoon. Plus sleeping feels great. Making sure you get enough sleep without going overboard is extremely important. The recommended amount can vary. I’ve heard 30-60 minutes is fine (great source I know), while other articles get as low as 10-20 minutes.

There have been plenty of studies on the impact of naps. Research like the one linked here discusses how naps offered a positive effect in adult workers ranging from minor to dramatic increases in alertness and memory recall. A good nap leaves you feeling more energized than ever before and can cut the afternoon grogginess from slipping in after lunch. Granted when it comes to researching the effects on people in general, your mileage may vary when it comes to the positive impacts.

Note however, that there has also been research that showed that those who napped longer than 60 minutes had higher mortality rates. Super scary, but once again when we’re talking about people there are so many factors that go into who we are overall that there are many potential explanations for this relationship.

However, the reason I bring this up is because I’m curious on if authors nap. There are some interesting works on when certain famous authors wake up like this one. Naps are a bit of a different beast. Some people loathe them because they leave snoozer groggy and unsure of the world, while other people receive that positive benefit that was mentioned before and use that newfound energy as a spark for their creative process.

I for one enjoy an early afternoon nap to refocus for work and regain some energy I lost from an early day workout. It makes it feel like my days are split in two and I am by no means complaining. One can make the case that I could be spending that time writing instead, but I think of naps more like an investment. I use up some time now so I can be more ready later.

What are your thoughts on naps’ benefit/risk on your routine and writing habits?

Writer’s Block

Writer’s block is a horrible thing, like a guy at a bar in the middle of a midlife crisis.

Writer’s block is a horrible thing.

It prevents writers from doing the one thing that makes the writers. So are they really writers at that point? They’re just frustrated people staring at the same sentence for an extended amount of time. It can be extended to other facets of life as well.

Everyone reaches a point where they don’t know where to go from there. They want to progress, but every time they start to move forward, something stops them. Some people have huge blocks, often referred to as a “midlife crisis”. Quite frankly, that is a horrible term. Any smart person would try to have their midlife crisis in their eighties or something so they could live until their 160. By then you could probably go to space and do some awesome old-person-in-space stuff.

Anyways, during a midlife crisis sufferers will often ‘discover’ that they are/were in a rut and were wasting their time; usually in the form of a soul-sucking job or maybe a less than ideal marriage. The realization of one’s own mortality, the minuscule impact one’s life is going to have in the grand scheme of the universe, the horror of shopping at Walmart. These are all realizations that may occur as a result of the crisis and to combat this victims will try to do one of two things; try to relive their youth or break up the monotony of their life all at once. These two options should remind you of a lazy son of a billionaire, they don’t work.

A person cannot just have a realization one day about changing up their life and have the exact life they wanted the next one. It’s a process. Instead of quitting your agency job to pursue your art career, just start by drawing in your free-time everyday. Are you planning on dying your hair so you can buy 50 dollar vodka/water mixed drink for a woman half your age at a bar? Maybe just try online dating first… I like your confidence though. The point is, when you’re having midlife crisis, its only a crisis if you try to 180 your life too quickly and you end up crashing and burning. You’re essentially doing a 360. You gotta build the changes you want to make in your life and then each time you do them, you’ll be that much closer to the person you want to be.

The same thing can go for writer’s block. Instead of writing an entire trilogy of novels in one night, just try writing a stupid blog post. About writer’s block.