- Books, Literature, and Writing
How to Have a Writing All-Nighter
Pulling an All-Nighter
Writing is wonderful, but unfortunately, we don't always have the time to do it. Life just gets in the way sometimes. You have to go to a terrible place called work all the time, clean your home, do the laundry, spend time with loved ones, buy groceries, etc. There is a never-ending list of tasks that must be completed so you can function in life. Sadly, writing is not always on the top of that list. So when can you find the time to write?
I suggest trying something called an all-nighter. If you ever went to college, you are surely familiar with this concept. For whatever reason, you have way too many assignments due at the same time. This could be your own fault because you put off doing all the work until the last minute, or it could be really bad luck. In the end, the only way to achieve success in this situation is to pull an all-nighter. That is what I suggest when it seems like you can't find any time to write.
Of course, you may still be in college and reading this, and perhaps you need to write 5 papers tonight so you are looking for advice. This advice can easily be applied to writing papers all night as well. After all, I am kind of making this up as I go along based on past experience, my friends' college experiences (most of them were much bigger procrastinators than me!), and stuff I am going to learn along the way tonight. Yes, I am pulling a writing all-nighter tonight for the first time ever! Join me on this epic journey!
Writing All-Nighter Tips
- Drink lots and lots of caffeine.
- Have snacks.
- Prepare research materials prior to the Writing All-Nighter if possible.
- If you are not a night person, set aside just 3 hours to write one night.
- DON'T submit anything without proofreading and editing it the next day!
- Keep music or TV on in background to keep you alert.
- Break up writing sessions with tasks to keep you awake... preferably something that gets you moving.
- Find an all-nighter buddy that will not distract you too much with texts or Facebook messages so you can encourage each other.
- DON'T get too comfortable! No one only "rests their eyes" for a minute.
- Don't have a pity party... make it fun if possible.
I am beginning my all-nighter in a fairly optimistic fashion. I have never been a night owl, but I do need to get some things done. So far, I have eaten dinner and started writing this hub. I have gathered some important items I will need: soda, tea, coffee, junk food, and the remote controls. Yes, these are the essentials.
Every good all-nighter includes lots of caffeine and this is no exception. You might opt for some five hour energy drinks or Red Bull, but I am going a more traditional route tonight. I also feel like those energy drinks can... well... how do I put this delicately? They upset one's bladder quite a bit. I am obviously not going to be able to get anything done if I have to pee every five minutes. Sorry... but this is just a fact.
If you are writing anything that is going to require some research, I recommend gathering those materials early on in the evening. Not only do you need them for all-nighter success, but you are probably more alert and able to find what you need at this time. Doing the easiest tasks first and waiting until it is really late to gather your research materials is a big no-no.
It is also important to set your goals early on in the evening. For instance, I am hoping to work on an eBook, do some tasks on Mechanical Turk, and work on several internet articles tonight. I do have some chores to do, like doing the dishes and putting away laundry, in between my writing sessions. I will also continuously update this hub with new thoughts, revelations, and probably, to be totally honest, a lot of whining.
As an added bonus, I will be corresponding with my friend tonight via Facebook because she has waited the last minute to pack for her vacation and she will be pulling a "packing all-nighter" tonight. We will encourage each other to stay awake! If at all possible, find yourself an all-nighter buddy, too, but just make sure you don't distract each other too much.
Caffeine is Your Friend!
Did I say staying up all night writing was a good idea? I might have been wrong.
One coffee, one diet soda, two phone calls, about 1/5 of an eBook later, and I am starting to get exhausted. I have folded and put away clothes, and I've put away clean dishes. I am tired, but still want to complete more work before going to sleep. Let's face it, all-nighters are great for college students, but not so much fun for adults in their 30s that get up at 6:30 in the morning everyday to go to work. Sigh.
I have learned it helps to have the TV on. It makes a lonely writer feel not so alone. It also helps not to pity yourself too much. Staying up late and writing is only going to benefit you in the long run. It is best to keep chugging along.
Sometime Around 1 AM
Sometimes we learn the most valuable lessons in life the hard way. A crucial element to successfully having a writing all-nighter - don't sit anywhere too comfortable. This is especially the case if you have a laptop that you opt to take into the bedroom with you. If you have comfortable fluffy wonderful pillows... it is a bad idea to get anywhere near them! You might just lay back on them and dose off for a bit; I mean, that is all hypothetically speaking, of course.
I realize I am probably not making a lot of sense at this point. Right now, I might even be asleep and this is all part of a weird dream. I am not sure anymore. I just attempted to play SongPop (a small distraction) and I was unable to recognize an Elvis Presley song. I believe that is a bad sign. It is also a bad sign that I just misspelled "attempted" at least 4 times before getting it right earlier in this paragraph.
So far this evening, I have managed to: begin two hubs (including this one), write about 1/5 of an eBook, complete one HIT on , make some soy candles, get some household chores done, fail at SongPop, talk on the phone, attempt to contact my friend through Facebook who apparently fell asleep hours ago, and read a few hubs. All in all, this was not a huge writing success, but it was still sort of productive. The fact that I am still awake is rather a miracle. I can finish everything tomorrow.... when I am alert. Mechanical Turk
Pillows are NOT Your Friends!
Have you ever had to pull an all-nighter to get some writing done?
The Next Day
Well, I learned some interesting lessons about having a writing all-nighter. Let me share them with you.
First of all, I am not a night person and I will never be one. I simply work better during the light of day; I would be a terrible vampire.
Second, I learned that it is possible to take a time you would normal use for relaxing and focus entirely on writing. Sure, I failed at having an actual "all-nighter" but there was a good solid 3 - 4 hours of productivity when I got a lot done. Not all of it was my best work, but some of it is pretty good and the rest can be edited.
Another lesson learned was to break up the writing with some other tasks to keep awake. Making coffee, putting away clean dishes, vacuuming, or any other productive chore that must be done anyway will work well in this situation.
Last but not least, give yourself time to proofread and edit everything you've written when you are more alert. Don't just push that "submit" button thinking everything you've written is great at 1 AM... it probably is not. At this point, you are potentially delirious. When you are alert the next day, look over your work and then take the next steps with it.
The bottom line is, I intend on doing this more often. I will spend more Friday or Saturday nights working until about midnight and then proofreading all of it at some other point during the weekend. Caffeine made this day person achieve what she once thought was impossible, and that is great. It is also great to squeeze as much productivity out of a week as possible. I may not get rich with this technique, but I will at least feel like I am accomplishing something.
Copyright ©2013 Jeannieinabottle
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