Monday, October 22, 2012

Running on empty

I enjoyed Tim Lott’s bit in The Guardian today on How I write.

I identified not just with finding it hard to knuckle down, which is par for the course, but also the way his digestive system dictates his working day.
Come around 2pm I have an energy slump – especially if I have had a glass of wine. This has been happening to me since I was a teenager, but in those days at school I was in no position to do anything about it. Now I have a bed in my room, I take a nap. I never wake later than 45 minutes on. 
It seems that God has seen fit to give me a tiny stomach, like that of a sparrow. Which means I share the same post-lunch slump (but not the bed in the office, sadly).

My solution is to eat such a paltry lunch (e.g. a one-slice tuna sandwich) that I’m still gnawing my desk with hunger by 2. At which point I have another cup of tea and this keeps me going and a bit on edge until around 4, when I have lunch part two (e.g. a second sandwich).

In this way my little body stutters along throughout the week. I've been creatively running on empty, so to speak, for most of my career and it certainly works for me.

Does anyone else have a staying-fairly-productive strategy to share? Other than the simple fear of being found out for the talentless hack you clearly are, of course?

Btw, the rest of the How I write bits are very good too. Although the Lionel Shriver one has a picture of a woman at the top. Oops!

1 comment:

  1. I've taken to do doing 20 press-ups every time I get up from my desk (toilet break, tea break, lunch break, procrastibreak etc). Keeps you awake, keeps your heart rate ticking over and I've lost a stone in a month.

    The key, though, is finding a quiet place to do it and not having to face colleagues immediately afterwards with a bright red face and while heavy breathing.