Dramaquill's All Things Writing

January 21, 2008

Does SAD affect your writing?

Filed under: Creative writing,Writing — dramaquill @ 6:12 PM
Tags: , , , ,

I live in Northwestern Ontario, Canada and we’re right in the throws of winter as I write today’s blog post.  We’ve been lucky not to have had too cold of a winter for the most part but right now we’re back in the deep freeze again.  The sound of the furnace fan starting up reminds me how nice and warm it is here in my office.  Did I mention it’s a windowless office?

 But with winter comes what I refer to as:  The season of perpetual darkness.  With sunrise at approximately 8:40 a.m. and sunset at 5:40, I’m feeling the results of SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder.  And believe it or not, our days are actually getting longer now.  On the shortest day of the year the sun isn’t up until about 8:50 and sets before 5:00.  Many get up in the dark and come home in the dark and if they work in an office cubicle without any windows, it is likely they could be feeling signs of fatigue and SAD.

As a writer, I don’t really keep the most consistent of schedules when it comes to sleeping and getting up, so I can’t blame SAD on my sleep patterns, although for many, having to wake up in the dark can cause signifigant fatigue during winter months.

Another symptom associated with SAD is craving more carbohydrates.  With fresh produce harder to get in the winter, it’s no wonder those of us who sit at a computer for several hours a day don’t feel as energetic in the winter. 

So one would think that this energy zapping SAD would turn a writer’s mind to mush.  For me, it’s the opposite.  When it’s cold and dark out I find that the perfect time to hole up in my little office and write, revise and research, my steaming cup of coffee or cocoa by my side. 

Maybe it’s because I live in a place where it’s winter for at least 5 months out of the year.  I know that when it’s light out in the evening, I’d much rather be outside than sitting at the computer.  When temperatures start to get warm, I’d much rather feel the sun on my skin and smell the fresh air than sit at my desk.

So I guess that even with the fatigue of SAD playing at least some part on my energy level in winter, I still find time and inspiration to work on my writing a lot. 

What about you? 

If you aren’t feeling very productive and you’re energy levels are zapped, perhaps you need to do some research on SAD.  There are different therapies associated with relieving the symptoms, one of the most popular being light therapy.

So if you’re finding yourself hibernating under the covers in front of the TV and not producing much on your writing projects, check out some of the links below.  May SAD is the cause.

http://www.cfs-recovery.org/seaonal_affective_disorder.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seasonal_affective_disorder

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seasonal_affective_disorder

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seasonal_affective_disorder

http://www.ncpamd.com/seasonal.htm

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2 Comments »

  1. interesting. SAD affects most.

    Comment by krissnp — January 21, 2008 @ 10:41 PM | Reply

  2. interesting light therapy article

    Comment by light therapy — August 26, 2008 @ 4:49 AM | Reply


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