1. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    Do you feel weird after writing for a long period?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by JetBlackGT, Jun 26, 2013.

    I have noticed that I feel almost dizzy and very easily distracted after writing for long periods. Less than about five or six hours and I seem okay. Beyond eight to twelve hours, I am a hazard on the roads! I only schedule writing for days I am not going anywhere.

    The five minute drive, on 35MPH roads, to the grocery store? I seriously feel like I am drunk! It is not just the mild physical disorientation that possibly comes from all the eye movements. I am mentally WRUNG OUT! Focus is gone. Concentration is shot. I'm not even really acting like ADD. It is more like nothing can get through my buzzing fog of mental... popcorn. Like my brain has been replaced with rapidly popping popcorn, viewed through static. Cannot finish a thought or a project.

    I once cleaned half the kitchen counter and then stopped. Not because I was done or got distracted by something shiny. I just put the sponge and 409 down and forgot I was cleaning! Later, I came back upstairs and could see where I had just stopped, for no reason. "What happened here, stupid?" I said with a gesture and a disappointed head shake.

    Am I the only one who has this mental fog after long spells of writing? I don't like it! :(
     
  2. michaelj
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    michaelj Senior Member

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    If you feel like that it may be best to have a break before hand, you prob won't write as well in such a state. To answer your question, as soon as I feel tired, I have s break and do something else so no.
     
  3. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    When I was working on my first novel attempt, I once took a week off just to write. Every day, as soon as my wife left for work and the kids left for school, I'd sit down and work, barely moving except for an occasional refill of coffee and (maybe) lunch. By the time everyone was home around 5:00, I was spent. Not as brain-dead as the OP, but spent nonetheless.

    Best week of my life.
     
  4. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Writing? Sometime's the laptop gets as hot and sweaty as I evidently do, and I must switch off for the sakes of both our healths. Everything in moderation - even with a pen in the hand.

    Try the handheld recorder, the little minx, she tempts, I nibble her frame and listen to the words, ah flesh indeed.

    Otherwise, what can you do? You and I both genius scribes in the gutters of imperialism. Yes, very good that. Oh please keep writing and don't run over any small children in that jaguar of yours.

    Samantha
     
  5. Juju Bagdasarian
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    Juju Bagdasarian Member

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    I do pass a similar phase after a couple of hours looking at my notebook but it doesn't linger that long it kinda goes away after an hour. Isn't it natural , i mean you have been imagining for hours all sorts of stuff much like reading before an exam it's tiring. This may sound weird but maybe your diatery routine doesn't help you a lot with the energy check it out maybe that's the reason it takes you to much time to snap out of it.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    nope... never 'weird'... i've worked 18-20 hours a day for days in a row, when on a major project, was just tired enough to crash for a few hours in between...
     
  7. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Was that the Monterey fish cannery memoirs? Back-busting; blistering heat with a Jap round every bush?
     
  8. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    Diet may be a factor. I've been losing weight by the old fashioned method of "Eat-Right-And-Exercise". But the very fact that I am consuming fewer calories than I burn could have an effect.

    matwoolf. Very entertaining response! :) Getting children off of my hood ornament and out of the grille is so time consuming, it is becoming worth it to just avoid hitting them in the first place. ;)

    I keep Facebook open and use Google and YouTube to search for some of the techniques I am writing about, in the event I cannot remember how to do something. I feel as though I'm taking breaks but not leaving the chair for much more than tea refills or basic food snacks to keep going. My feeble brain just peters out after about the 6 hour mark.

    There are flurries of very productive writing followed by slogging through the mud to get the characters to where they need to be for the next part of the story. If I'm slogging, at the end of a session, I am more wring out than if the writing was just flowing.

    If you've ever had a concussion or took NyQuil and then had to wake up too soon? It feels just like that. Like you lost a lot of important brain cells and it's gonna take a week to press some new ones into service.
     
  9. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    After my last major project was finished I slept for 48hrs straight, no kidding.
     
  10. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    I can believe it! My brain feels so useless after writing :( Like it left my body awake but my brain went to sleep and is just lying there, in my skull, of no use to anyone.
     
  11. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    Yes, I used to feel "weird" after staring a white Word document for long stretches. But that went away when I started changing the background to grey and bought some computer glasses. I have no discomfort at all anymore--no matter how long I sit and write.
     
  12. AnonyMouse
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    AnonyMouse Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wouldn't say I feel "burnt out" or "tired." "Detached," is probably the best way to describe it, and it makes sense when you consider that we (fiction writers) spend long periods of time pouring our mental powers into the development of fantasy lands, imaginary people, and things that never happened. It should come as no surprise that the return to the "real" world leaves us floundering like fish out water. Likewise, getting into the writing mood usually takes me anywhere from 20 mins to an hour, depending on what I'm writing. It's not an easy state to enter into, nor exit out of.

    You mean, I'm supposed to stop listening to the voices in my head and get back to "reality?" Blasphemy... :eek:
     
  13. A.L.Mitchell
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    A.L.Mitchell Active Member

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    I don't feel dizzy or dozy when I write and I wouldn't write for hours, as I have to have break. When I do this, I will go outside for fresh air, which will rest my mind.
     
  14. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    I wrote ten thousand words this weekend. The old, wrung-out nerve bundle I and am now off to work. I can already tell I'm'a be a GREAT employee today ;). I was finished with Saturday's work by about 10AM and was very happy to have the rest of my day to unwind. Sunday, however, was a very long day. Drudgery. Pounding out a whopping "page an hour" sometimes. I'd eat, write, watch part of a movie, write, walk through the garden, write, trim roses, and try to get back to it, only to discover I was no farther in the book than I had been when I left the writing process.

    [sigh] and I sit back down, re-read the part I wrote, edit a bit and grind out a bit more. Getting to the point of being deeply engaged in my writing is more difficult when I am not at my goal, but also "don't wanna".

    I don't know if others do this but I set goals and give myself deadlines. I don't break them because otherwise what would be the point of either?!?! If your editor says "I need two chapters by Friday" you don't get to blow them off (more than twenty or thirty times) before they give you an even STERNER warning.

    No matter how tired my brain is, the writing is still of a good quality and edits out nicely. This is the part where I view it truly as "working on the book" rather than just "writing" the book.
     
  15. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    i have the opposite effect, i have to write in order to avoid my mind turning into a pile of mush from work, seriously, spending 38 hours a week staring at a computer screen answering calls is excessively and mind-numbingly boring, which is why i love writing
     
  16. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    When I finish editing a story or novel I feel exhausted.
     
  17. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    Right? People tell me that and I just scratch my head. Color me... puzzled. I grow a pair of questioning "11's" between my eyebrows... I tip my head to the side like a dog, silently saying "Huh? Why would I ever want to?" :) This is where my money comes from! Having a very subtle rein on the insanity that is my bread and butter. Insanity is very much like a pair of mismatched "spirited" horses who are harnessed together. Get your cameras ready... epicness ensues!!!

    AnonyMouse, I agree with every word you wrote (and I checked them carefully).

    In thinking about what you said about not being "tired", it occurred to me that on weekends, I tend to crash about four hours after I stop writing. For instance, I am lying on the couch, in my fancy, dressed up, black-tie 'writing jammies' (AKA whatever I happened to grab upon exiting the bed that morning), reading with the TV on (movies are easy to ignore and provide instant entertainment in the event that I might inadvertently turn my head, from the book), when suddenly I cannot keep my eyes open. I am spent. Utterly exhausted and feel like I am either dying or at least 'circling the drain'. If I keep myself awake, I am okay in an hour or two. Otherwise I wake up, one hour later, glued to the leather couch with a magical combination of sleep-slobber and dream-drool. My eyes are practically glued shut with eye boogers and overall, I am a puffy, disgusting mess.

    Sleeping for an hour, with my mouth wide open, I wake up with breath that feels like a burp died, trying to get out. My tongue feels scorched, sunburned and dry. I drag myself to the bathroom to brush my teeth and am met, at the mirror, with a visage of what can only be described as 'the face of the village idiot". Swollen eyes, puffy lips and hair that can only be understood by women whose hair naturally goes all Shirley Temple. On a GREAT HAIR DAY. Mine is an example of what happens on all the other days. Humid days. If you could wear a hat? But only on one side of your head? That's my hair, when I wake up. Justin Bieber 'forward brush' on one side, crazed madman on the other.
     
  18. Macaberz
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    Macaberz Pay it forward Contributor

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    You are a funny man. No, seriously, I find it refreshing to see someone write posts in this story/blog like fashion. It made me smile and chuckle, so thank you for that!
     
  19. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    You are welcome! :) When I read Bill Bryson or Jen Lancaster, Mary Roach, Dave Barry or Dr. Richard Feynman, it reverberates in me! I feel that humor is so much better when it's self-effacing and honest. When you admit your weakness and point out that weaknesses strengths and humor. Or the weakness everyone has, but never talks about. Like staring at your freshly woken up self, in the mirror and saying "Jesus wept; what happened here?"
     
  20. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Same here. Only time I could sleep was after working 10-15 hours on a project. For me, once I get into the creative phase (which is different than the editing phase) I can't walk away. It's very difficult to do so, and I end up having to force myself to go.

    Only time I'm tired when writing is when I'm editing. That's mentally draining work.
     
  21. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    I wonder how many of us have insomnia in one form or another?

    It's like sleep is an addiction for weak-minded, lazy people and writers eschew it on moral grounds. And like those who want [something] the most, we go on about how we just don't need it. Which is almost true. But we WANT it SOOOO badly. If somebody said "Hey. If you push that old lady down, I'll let you have a great night's sleep."

    I might not do it, but I probably wouldn't discard the notion, straightaway. People'd be looking at me all horrified. "You have to THINK about this?!?!"

    "Oh. Uh, no. NO! OF COURSE NOT!" [sigh]
     

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