Monday, November 21, 2011
WILL WRITING ON THE GRAVEYARD SHIFT HARM AN AUTHOR?
Working off hours, especially between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. goes against the body’s natural sleep/wake rhythm. Consequences can include health problems, irritability, work-related errors, and increased accidents. Working extended, excessive hours can add to the problems.
It is common for writers to work late into the night after coming home from a day job. How can they mitigate the untoward effects of their self-imposed shift work?
1. Decrease the number of night shifts worked in a row.
2. Avoid overly-extended work hours as much as possible.
3. Avoid frequently rotating shifts; have a consistent writing schedule.
4. Get enough sleep on days off from writing, and do not start a writing stint when sleep-deprived.
5. Caffeine and wake-promoting prescription medications may have a role in maintaining alertness, but getting enough sleep is a better plan.
Maintaining your health while doing the shift work that writing demands will require planning and pacing—for yourself as well as for your manuscript!♥
Elizabeth Knowles Palladino writes a monthly column, WriterCare, for the RWANYC newsletter. She lives in Kingston, New York, where she works in health care and writes medieval romance.