Wednesday 29th March 2017
Today I have been a zombie. Or to be more accurate – I’ve been suffering with sleep deprivation
You see, working late last night I had a sensible plan. I didn’t have to go into the office until later in the day and so could lay in. I could still get a decent number of hours of sleep despite how late I went to bed.
But I didn’t count on two things. The first was that my gym aches might have been more than aches and more like a pulled muscle down one edge of my spine. This stopped me from dropping off to sleep, and then made my sleep restless, waking often. Secondly, I didn’t figure getting a call out from the day job at 7am. By the time I fixed that, I was too awake to have any chance of sleep.
As a result I’ve been walking around in a semi-daze.
I can normally survive a night or two with little sleep so long as I catch up but I’ve really been pushing my limits the last couple of weeks in order to get things done. As a result, one night of less than 4 hours sleep completely wiped me out.
There’s a difference between being normal tired and the tired I felt today. I felt almost ill, and indeed I did wonder if I had come down with something. But when I’m this tired it feels like having flu.
I’ve never really had fever dreams but I think sleep deprivation is close to what I imagine it’s like. My logic feels slightly skewed, my imagination feels like it has sharp edges where otherwise it would have rounded ones. I even notice a subtle change in my emotions completely detached from logic. My brain doesn’t focus and skips from idea to idea like a scratched record.
On one hand, it’s an interesting state creatively. I’ve never been one for mind-altering substances but I have planned stories when I’ve had a fever as they feel so alien to the way I’d normally create. But, that subtle change in my logic is enough to ensure that I never make any important decisions when in this state.
And so this morning, the biggest thing I did was walk to the supermarket to get some turkey rashers for breakfast. By the time I got back, cooked and had breakfast, and then edited yesterday’s The Climb it was time to pack up the car and head out.
I saw that my agent signed a deal for another of her clients yesterday. I’ve watched Brian’s steady growth over the last few years (and have enjoyed the two Powdermage books I’ve read so far). His success was probably one of the leading reasons I signed with Caitlin. As much as I want to forge my own career path, if there’s one author whose path I wouldn’t mind closely following, it’s Brian. It’s little things like this that remind me of what’s to come. It can feel like I’m in limbo sometimes and news like this is a healthy kick of reality. The book sounds incredible as well!
I hated the journey into the day job. I once drove to Scotland on no sleep back in my 20s. I was so tired I had to do everything I could to stop me dropping off at the wheel. We went past a power station that I remember passing just before we entered Edinburgh. On the way out there was a 40 minute journey between these two locations.
I don’t feel safe driving when this tired so I took it slowly and vowed that after swordfighting I would forego the pub and instead head straight home to try and get as early a night as possible.
I also had some storm chasing business to take care of. A couple of friends of friends died in a tragic traffic accident yesterday and so safety is foremost on everyone’s mind at the moment. Levels of lack of sleep equal to what I feel today, combined with adrenaline lead even the most level-headed chaser to start taking stupid risks.
We’ve decided that we’re going to carry a defibrillator in case any of us gets hit by lightning. I’ve seen it happen to someone chasing two years ago. We bumped into a friend of a friend and they went off on their own only to return looking ashen and deathly ill. They said that lightning had struck nearby and they had been thrown unconscious some 20ft. Guy was lucky not to be killed. I’ve been told always to crouch down and keep your heels together so that if you do get hit by nearby current, it’ll only risk blowing your feet or anus out rather than it killing you.
And speaking of which, I’m being advised to avoid certain hotels in Winnipeg as they have a knife problem. I joked that I want to try out my disarm skills. What’s the use of learning how to fight with a sword and dagger if you just run away when someone untrained comes at you with a knife 😉
Swordfighting training went OK. I don’t think I was at my best tonight given my state but my students seem to be enjoying the work we are doing and it’s very satisfying seeing them progress. The quality of their fighting seems very high for their experience and I’m very proud of them.
I was good and didn’t go to the pub, heading home so that I got back to the house before midnight. I didn’t even bother to turn on the computer, just went straight up to bed for a long, long sleep.
And then the phone rang with a day job related outage that took me until 3am to resolve. That coupled with the discovery that yesterday’s edition of The Climb did not post when scheduled did nothing for my mood I can tell you!
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