I had trouble concentrating today when I sat down to write. I couldn't seem to focus on the details of my story. I tried to finish the article that is due at the end of today, but I didn't have any energy, the words were stuck in my brain. I needed help. I needed a nap. A cat nap.
Have you been falling asleep at the keyboard? Do you feel dull and unfocused when you write? Do you feel like a wet mouse on a rainy day?
You might think there are other needs a writer has that are more important, like knowing proper punctuation, or how to create a convincing storyline. But, I am sad to say, you would be wrong. I am here to tell you something more important.
I am here to tell you, “Every writer needs to take a cat nap.”
You Need a Cat Nap
Now, don't worry. You don't have to be a cat to take a cat nap. A cat nap means a short nap. And you don't have to take your nap in a cardboard box. Unless of course, you want to.
Napping is not just for cats, but also tycoons, world leaders, or inventors. John. D. Rockefeller napped every day in his office. Winston Churchill took naps while battling the bad guys in World War Two and Thomas Edison napped in between inventing the light bulb and the phonograph.
Sara C. Mednick, Ph. D, in her book, Take a Nap! Change your life, warns about the dangers of sacrificing sleep.
When we sacrifice sleep, we not only endanger public safety, but we also hurt — and even kill — ourselves. After air. food and water, sleep is the most critical necessity for maintaining the body's vital organs and systems. It's the cumulative health effects of chronic deprivation that should be setting off alarms.
Well, not only does lack of sleep make it hard to concentrate on writing a story, it can also kill you. I personally don't want to increase my risk of breast or colon cancer, heart attacks or strokes. Nor do I want to be irritable, angry, depressed, or have mental exhaustion.
Migraines, ulcers, and eczema are made worse by depriving your body of sleep. I do have nine lives, but why waste any by not getting enough sleep?
The Benefits of Taking a Cat Nap
Don't worry. There is hope. You will be able to decrease your risk of disease by napping. Instead of drinking another cup of coffee in an attempt to stay awake or give you a boost of energy, put away the coffee cup and take a nap.
Even if you had a good nights sleep, a nap can refresh your brain and make you more alert and creative.
You may have wanted just one reason to nap, Sara C. Mednick, gives a list of twenty scientific reasons to nap in her book, Take a Nap! Change your life. Some of the benefits Mednick lists from napping are: Increase your alertness, speed up your motor performance, improve your accuracy, make better decisions, reduce stress, help your memory, and boost your creativity.
A boost of creativity would make me want to purr. It would also help me finish writing this post.
So please, step away from your computer, put down your mouse, and find a quiet spot to lay down your head. It could just save your life, or at the least, help you write your story.
How about you? Do you take cat naps? Let us know in the comments section.
For practice today I am not asking you to write. I want you to take a nap. Yes. A nice short cat nap. Then come back and tell me if you feel more rested. Are you more alert? Was your creativity boosted?
And after your nap, please write. What did you write with a boost in creativity after your nap? Share what you wrote after you took a nap. Write for fifteen minutes then share your story here in the comments section.
Please be kind and read someone else's story and make a comment.
All my best,
Pooh Hodges is the cat who writes. He is an author, an entrepreneur and a visionary. He dictates to his typist every morning before he takes a nap in a sunbeam. He is currently writing his memoir, a tragic tale of loss and redemption.
Pooh would love to be your friend and he would love to connect with you on his blog, thecatwhowrites.com