Someone once said that he couldn’t remember the last time he had four-hour night’s sleep. Looking at him, there was nothing wrong with his appearance and daily performance. He seemed healthy and strong and went about his normal daily business. I guess he’s one of those extraordinary people around.
Sleep is as substantial as food, sound sleep is synonymous with good health and every adult human being needs at least eight hours of sleep every day to maintain a healthy body.
Unfortunately, it’s a busy, stress-filled life, with so much to do, so much to accomplish, little time. It becomes even harder for a writer, who needs the quietness of the middle of the night and early hours for better imaginative or factual writing.
Middle of the night is very essential to a writer. Taking this away from him is impeding his writing activity.
What Do You Do?
Do you go to sleep while loads of work await? Will you ever be able to sleep well with those unfinished projects everywhere? How can a writer ever sleep when all he has is quiet hours of the night?
I Stayed Awake At Night To Write.
When I started writing my first two novellas in 2013 – that was six years ago, I was determined to finish both of them in three months and I stayed awake into the early hours of the morning, writing slept between 2 to 3 am just and woke up by 5 am on workdays.
It wasn’t hard for me to do because I was very passionate – a hundred per cent, you know, when you’re starting a project you’re passionate about and you have this burning desire to make it happen, I didn’t feel like I was sleep-deprived and physically, I was fit past a fiddle but that was not for long.
Three months later, and with continuous wake keeping, I began to notice a lot of abnormalities in my system. I felt tired and dizzy. I found it difficult to concentrate and hard to remember things. My digestive system felt funny with grumblings I couldn’t understand.
I also found out that, my writing turned bad and I needed to depend more on external aid to extract thoughts and ideas.
My writing process began to retard as I continued to feel very tired.
Funny enough even at this stage, it didn’t occur to me that the whole chaos within me was because of lack of adequate sleep.
It happened that my body got so tired that it refused to keep awake with me anymore. That’s when I began to sleep by 10 pm at most to wake up at 5 am. Lo and behold, after a week of sound sleep, I felt this peacefulness within me and every symptom I had disappeared. I felt my whole body was delighted and thankful.
What Happens To Sleep Deprived Writer?
A writer said that writing sleep deprived is like writing drunk. While writing, you think you’re at your best, and that you have come up with your best writing ever which actually read well to you, only to wake up in the morning to find out that everything you’ve written makes no sense at all.
Sleep deprivation can decay the mind and body and its damaging effect can lead to other mental and physical illnesses.
Understand that Sleep Impacts Mental And Physical FunctionOf The Body
Sleep impacts brain function in a big way. A healthy amount of sleep gives the brain, the ability to adapt to input. It means that with sleep deprivation, it becomes hard for the brain to process what is learned during the day and this interferes with thinking pattern and makes it hard to remember things.
The entire body system; the central nervous system, the immune system, the respiratory system, the digestive system, cardiovascular system and the endocrine system can all be affected by prolonged lack of sleep.
So, not just the brain and thinking pattern that get affected, but the entire body can be affected badly by prolonged lack of sleep.
Write whenever you feel is best for you but please make sure you get adequate sleep at night, 7 to 9 hours will do.
It sounds unrealistic and easier-said-than- done right?
The truth is there is no better way to keep the body and mind sound than having a deep sleep at night as well as maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
I find the early morning writing more productive and there are writers who have discovered this time and think it’s the best time for them to write.
So, instead of staying awake at night most of the time to write, make use of early morning often and night hours a few times.
I have been tagged by an awesome lifestyle blogger, Bukola, in 30 Questions Tag and I’m really excited to participate.
Bukolais one of the bloggers that have captured my keen interest and respect. I find her blog interesting, inspiring and informative. Do visit her blog Bukolaorry.com for more.
Below are the 30 Questions I was asked together with my answers
1. What are your nicknames? What do you prefer to be called?
My nickname is Ify, short for my middle name Ifeoma ( Goodness)
2. How often do you doodle? What do your doodles look like?
Rarely. They look too funny.
3. What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep? Toss and Turn? Try to get up and do something productive?
I pray or read
4. Do people consider you as talkative or quiet?
I’m on the quiet side but when trying to prove a point, I talk until I talk no more.
What makes you cry?
When I see someone in agony.
6. What is your biggest pet peeve?
– shuffling along
– talking nonstop when with others and not listening to hear what they have to say.
7. How many times a day do you look at yourself in the mirror?
I’m not sure….may be 6 times or more.
8. What is the strangest thing you believed as a child?
– That if a child cried in the night hour, a wicked spirit came to the doorstep to carry the child away.
– A moving train made people standing close to it disappear.
– That the sun followed people around.
9. What is one guilty pleasure you enjoy too much to give up?
10. Who performs the most random acts of kindness out of everyone you know?
11. How often do you read the newspaper? Which sections?
I do often – online though.
12. Which animal scares you the most?
13. Are you more likely to avoid conflict or engage it head-on?
I don’t like engaging in conflicts. If there was pressing need to engage in one, I would. I love fighting for rights of ohers in my circle who can’t fight for themelves.
14. What was the most recent compliment you’ve received?
From my daughter, last week. After dressing up to go out she said “mummy you look very beautiful today.” I believed her.
.15. What question are you tired of hearing?
When are you having another girl for your daughter?
16. What is the strangest thing you have eaten?
Termites – I think about it now as strange but then it was best delicacy and we hunted for these as kids in the Eastern Nigerian counryside (my village). We believed we were not supposed to eat any of these somewhere far from our vicinity, so as to be sure we were eating the ones that had not fed on burried dead bodies.
17. Do you have a whole lot of acquaintances or just a few very close friends?
I have lots and lots of acquaitances and very few close friends too.
18. Do you have a catchphrase?
I learnedfrom a very important person from my country that‘The other room’ could mean the bedroom for the married.
19. What’s your all-time favourite town or city? Why?
Dubai – For security reasons.
. If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?
I love my first name. Florence means “blossoming”
21. When was the last time you lied?
22. What’s something that amazes you?
Once a child is born and placed at it’s mother’s breast to suckle, it does, perfectly. How do new born babies learn how to suckle so well? It amazes me.
23. Would you rather be the first person to explore a planet or be the inventor of a drug that cures a deadly disease?
I’m terrified by the thought of going to other planets. There is always this imaginary aliens lurking there waiting for unlucky human to gobble.
I love human life and if there was anything I could do to save it, I would, including going to other planets.
24. What is your favourite amateur activity?
Giving someone a hair cut.
25. What was your first thought when you woke up this morning?
My alarm woke me up this morning by the way and my first thought was “snooze the damned alarm.” That’s what I did, again and again until there was no option for snoozing.
26. What is your favourite song (at least at the moment)?
‘Dance Into The Light’ by Phil Colins.
27. List someone you know, and describe them in 5 words.
Jesus is powerful, wonderful, compassionate, merciful, glorious….
28. You can select one person from history and have them truthfully answer one question. Who would you select and what would the question be?
Any of the Egyptian Pharaohs.
Q. Why were mummies buried with great fortunes that could have been used to better the lives of the living?
29. Which celebrity or artist do you resemble the most?
None that I know of.
30. What do you want me to know?
No matter what you are facing at the moment, know that you will come out of it a better person. Do not be weighed down by it.
If they choose to participate, I would like to tag:
It was the land clearing period in preparation for the planting season. We usually cleared the land and my father would hire the labourers to help him cultivate the land.
We had more than five plots of land from the community farmland. We farm the land every other year. It was a very fertile land and crops like Maize, yams, cocoyams and cassava did very well there.
My Father loved farming. He had always told us that it was the best occupation on earth. We had always stared at him in silence, listening with twitching ears and hoped he could see things the way we did.
He said that a farmer didn’t lack. He was right but not for his kind of farmer.
He was a poor farmer.
All we had was enough food to eat all through the year. We looked well fed but when it came to things money could buy, it became very hard to get them easily; good education, beautiful house, car or even father upgrading his bicycle to a motorcycle or a car, good clothes, and lots and lots of other things.
We only changed things like clothes and shoes during festive periods like, once a year or when they got beyond repair and the repairers said there was nothing left to do.
It was the twelfth month of the year and the harmattan season when the mornings were cold and we should all be wrapped up and peeping through our blankets or snoring. My father had told us the previous night that the next day would be spent on the farm.
My siblings and I hated going to the farm very early in the morning in those periods – the time when sleep was the sweetest. But my father said it was the best time for farm work. A time when the body would be well-rested and able to keep up with the amount of stamina required to lift the hoe and till or cultivate the land.
It was a Friday and Nkwo market day when he entered our room at exactly 5: 30 am to call us up. He called us up again and again when we refused to yield. Mother came to drag the blankets off our bodies.
“Get up and go to the farm. The sun is almost out. I don’t know what is wrong with the children of this generation. During our time, we got up by 4 am and went to the farm with lamps and worked till the day was gone. These days children wait for ready food at the golden table and whine if it’s not what they want. ……” She was still talking by the time she carried her pan on her head.
After morning prayers, we washed our faces, put ends of our chewing sticks in our mouths, picked our wooden hoes and rakes and headed to the farm.
Our last born had to stay at home to sweep the compound and warm the food. He was supposed to bring our own breakfast to the farm.
At the farm something unexpected happened. Someone had already cultivated our portion of the village land. Each kinsmen had their portion from our community land and from the portion each kinsman got a spot. It was our own spot that someone else had cultivated.
My father dropped his hoe and machete in shock and we all stood in line to watch.
“Who could this be father?” My brother asked.
“I have no idea.” father replied and remained as calm as he could.
“Let’s go back. I need to meet our kinsmen chairman.”
We all went home but father didn’t go with us. He went to complain to the chairman of the kinsmen about the issue at hand and came home with a disturbing explanation.
Someone had bought our portion of the land – without prior information to my father. Father said that was the biggest insult to his person as the son of soil.
We had many hectares of land in many place that were ours. The issue was that, the community farming portion was my father”s entitlement and a member of the community and if anything should be done with it, my father had the right to know.
As he was lamenting, deep down, I was sure Ukadi was the buyer. And even made up my mind never to forgive him forr that ever.
When the buyer later showed up as someone else who came to our house with the community leader to apologise to father, I found out it wasn’t Ukadi and my disappointment was enormous. I wished he was the one so he and my family would be deeper into acrimony to disqualify him further as my future husband.
The stories I share with you here are my drafted stories.
My reason for sharing them is not to throw them away but to take you with me on my story writing journey so I could get your reactions or feedback and I’m happy that some of you truly enjoy and respond to them.
If you’re ten of you who enjoy them, I’ll keep sharing some of my drafts with you. My writing zeal gets stronger that way.
I’ll be drawing the curtain here for My Best Wedding Ruiner. It had been wonderful journying with you.
For those itching to know the it’s head and tail, the rewritten/edited version of that exciting story will be published when it’s ready. I’ll let you know when it’s available online.
Thank you very much for your constant support through your responses.
There are many of you to thank that this page may not contain all your names.
God bless you all.❤
God bless Fiez❤
Coming next under stories is the continuation of Dormain Chaos to be posted on Fridays. Hopeyou willenjoy it.
Have a blessed weekend all of you.💙💙
Welcome To The Artistic Words Of Creative Writing by Florence Ifeoma Ezekafor