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How To Get Out of the Rabbit Hole

rabbit-fleeing-holeI started the morning planning just a quick blog post about my beloved sleep before sinking back into book drafting. A little riff, just to warm up. Sleepbutrin, Sleeploft, Sleeperall…sleep is my drug of choice, and if I get enough of it, all of the symptoms which might suggest I could use a few doses of something more chemical disappear. (That’s me personally, by the way—sleep is far from a mental health cure-all for those who struggle, and can even be a symptom of depression. So no, I’m not dismissing the real need for the real drugs. It’s just that I don’t myself behave as if I need them if I get enough sleep.). Sleep also lessens my own sense that I  need make-up, because I look calm and refreshed and less-wrinkly. And it reduces my cravings for junk food in large quantities. It’s good stuff, sleep.

But this isn’t about sleep, as it turns out. No, it’s about the rabbit hole. Because here’s what happened once I decided to write a quick blog post about sleep:

  1. thought I might just toss in a few facts about sleep.
  2. remembered a good friend with terrible insomnia who always wants to throw sleep rhapsodies like mine across the room. Read “The Insomnia Machine” by Pagan Kennedy. Thought about how much I love Pagan Kennedy’s name. For a while I thought her parents were very cool, then I realized she herself chose the name, and decided that she was very cool. Pondered what my name might be if I went the Pagan route. Mayhem? Zoetrope? Nihila? Googled Pagan. She’s older than me. This is good; I still might be able to be her when I grow up.
  3. facts! sleep facts!
  4. Ok that was easy. Sleep facts are everywhere. But is it possible to sleep too much? Wander down road of things associated with too much sleep, like obesity and depression and early death, quickly realize these are not great correlaries for various reasons, briefly explore hypersonmia (sleeping 10-20 hours regularly and not feeling refreshed), dismiss it for my purposes before thinking of a genuinely interesting question about sleep–one that could make a real article. Google, Google, Google. There’s research, but nothing written on my topic, I have a good possible headline, it would even work as a blog post if none of my editors like it…Trifecta! Should I get started? Write a pitch? find someone to interview?
  5. Hooooooold on.
  6. it’s almost 11 and no book has been written. No blog post, either. Plan for the day was blog post, book, then monthly book email. I have officially gone down the rabbit hole.
  7. Open word file. Title it (RABBITHOLETOPICwithnotes). Throw in all links, make sure quotes are clearly quotes, leave enough to pursue when it’s the plan.
  8. Close file.  Crawl carefully out of rabbit hole, being sure to close all open links behind me.
  9. Get fresh coffee, resume days’ actual plan, noting that only about 45 minutes really went into the rabbit hole, and it might ultimately be productive—but not today.

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