The Power of Sleep


I came across a handout with advice from Pat Schneider to help creative-types develop a more disciplined writing life. This was one of my favorite tips because it involves sleeping.

Never underestimate the power of sleep—Pat says, “Entering and staying in the mysterious place where daydreams meet night dreams is important to the writing life. Our deepest writing, our genius, requires an engagement of the unconscious mind. If you can, get away on a mini-writer’s retreat by yourself. Start by sleeping, catching up. It might be the open sesame back into your art. Pat says when you are exhausted it takes three days and three nights of sleep for the tapes in your head to slow down. In religious retreats, they talk of the deep silence that begins on the third day. Go in and out of sleep, waking, dreaming, and floating between sleep and consciousness. Keep no schedule. Eat when you are hungry. Rest!


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