The Unsleep Study

Lately, I've been exploring what a significant lack of sleep does to the working creative mind. Here are a few of my findings:

You stare at things that have corners a lot. And you try to remember what you were thinking just before you started staring at that thing with the corner. You think all your ideas are killer, and then you're pretty sure they suck, then great again, and then, well, then you're not sure. So you look over at something with a corner and think about it. You start to wish someone would invent inner eye lid moisturizing cream. You feel your heart beating in strange places inside your body. Places you know you don't have a heart, like inside your knee. Your sense of balance is slightly off. And you feel all floaty-sinky inside. Your laptop feels much warmer on your lap than usual. You hold the backspace key down too long every time. You spend 18 minutes trying to decide if "and" or "but" would be a more appropriate transition. But you're not sure. Your mouse-eye coordination gets sloppy. You have to look up how to spell words like coordination. And it still looks wrong to you. You can't figure out how to connect all the pieces and wrap it up. You doze off. You have a short dream about emailing the wrong files and screwing the meeting up. You wake up. You decide that maybe you could just sleep for a couple hours and then try to finsih it up early in the

25 comments:

Sylvio R. said...

I'm gonna print this and fix it on my wall to remind me that I NEED sleep early but I never do.
This post is genious!

Anton said...

Sounds so familiar …

Littlejohn said...

Perhaps an art director can offer some additional perspective. You guys feel free to submit findings in your own Unsleep Studies.

Thomas said...

Oh, and the shakes. It comes on about day three, where you start twitching spontaneously. Then there's the feeling that everyone is looking at you in a strange way, which maybe they are. Then there's the anger that nobody else is really tired, how dare they tell you they're tired. Then everything is funny...except for what you're writing.

Has anyone else ever gotten the blister on their eyelid?

Love the post Littlejohn, it's beautiful. Ok, I've got to go and look at things with corners.

Ad Broad, oldest working writer in advertising said...

too true, Littlejohn. Great post. I once worked with an AD who had actual narcolepsy. I was just starting out in the business--she'd fall asleep when we were working which I never mentioned to anyone, as I feared my stuff wasn't good enough to keep her awake. She was fired after nodding off in a couple of client meetings. If only I'd known to tell her to focus on corners.

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