The vacuum cleaner sucks, my cpap blows and the shop vac does both. What, you may be asking, do these things have to do with writing? Two have nothing at all and one of them has more than you could imagine.
Back when I still had ovaries, insomnia started dominating my nightscapes. Depression moved in, put up its feet and like bad relatives, overstayed its welcome. Days and nights ran together as exhaustion pulled me further down. Through it all our little writers group kept me pushing week to week until voila, last year I went in for a sleep study and a few things became clear. Sleep apnea can cause a host of problems, two of which are insomnia and depression. Enter my new love/hate relationship; the cpap. Mine blows big time. To the tune one of the highest settings on an in-home machine. It blows so hard it forces my lips open so I imagine I look like a basset hound hanging out a car window with its lips and ears flapping happily along.
Getting used to my new little friend has not been all roses and lollipops. The pressure makes my ears pop or feel full, dries out my mouth and nose and sometimes makes me feel like I am being suffocated. Forget it if I have a headache. The rig around my cranium gets so tight I sometimes rip it off and throw it down beside the bed. Even though I have had some trying nights, I have instituted a truce with my cpap because sleep is an invaluable commodity.
I feel better and can again wear night shirts without wrapping them around me so tight I could be mistaken for an Egyptian mummy. Real sleep makes for more brainpower, clearer thinking, wakefulness and a better attitude. Now what do you suppose are the benefits to being a writer with sleep apnea using a cpap? For one, you get the pleasure of my overactive imagination having free reign writing blog posts. It is so much easier to write a blog post now without having to take two naps. Being tired all the time shreds away creativity and undermines purpose. I am a much more productive writer when I sleep right. It is completely beside the point that my novel is in its fifth year. I didn’t say a cpap made me a better writer, just a clearer-thinking one.
Conclusion: my cpap blows but it doesn’t suck.