Working Instead Of Sleeping – Why A Midnight Post Is Better Than An Hour’s Sleep

It’s 01:08 pm as I am writing these lines.

I’ve been on a day off due to holiday, and got little done – some drumming, some writing, no coding. I am suppose to be up tomorrow at 07:00 am, to take my car to the shop and then drive the 65-minute commute to my upstate job. I am a terrible driver when I’m tired (as we all are), and would love to get at least 6 hours of a decent night’s sleep before driving. Also, I have the day’s work in front of me-boring, monotonous work that I do just because I have to for the time being – I’m an army officer, and I signed up for 4 years, which end at the end of February next year.

I can’t sleep, I can’t write, I can’t read – But I can eat.

It makes sense for me to be asleep now – if not only for the reasons I’ve stated above, but for the sheer fact that sleep is very, very important for the body and to your mental health. But I can’t. It’s besides me why – Yeah, there are explanations and fool-proof methods to break apart the sleep barriers and get some good night rest. However – there are just some times, when nothing works. Your weary mind refuses to shut itself down.

I find it difficult to concentrate on anything important at these times. I can’t sleep, I can’t write, I can’t read – But I can eat. Oh, Yeah, I can definitely indulge myself in a bowl of hot pasta or a bag of salty chips. Usually I find myself with the remote in one hand, flipping between movies and TV shows I have little to no real interest in just to pass the time, while going berzerk on calorie-stuffed, tasty garbage food.

It doesn’t really matter if you’re a writer, a programmer or a waiter – just get out of bed.

Today I decided I’m flipping the tables. 

As I was finishing one of this year’s summer smash movies,  I decided to get out of bed, turn on the light and start writing. Perhaps, if the mood strikes right, continue and promote this site on some other blogs I like. And so far so good-350 words and counting.

It seems to me, here, that there is a habit to develop: Whenever you’re in that state of sleeplessness, get up and write something. It doesn’t really matter if you’re a writer, a programmer or a waiter – just get out of bed, fire up the laptop, open Microsoft Word and start ticky-tacking away. It might (and probably will be) crap, but it will be yours, and it will be something on paper that you can show yourself the next day – instead of some foggy memory of a movie or TV show you saw yesterday, will talk about with someone today, and forget tomorrow.

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Beginnings

I’ve been trying to learn how to write web applications for about 4 months now, at the age of 21.

I remember trying to start learning years ago, at 14 or 15 years old, without much success. Between school, and work, and scouts, and girls, and whatever other stuff went through my mind at the time (including a very low self-confidence and an inclination to slack) I just never made it past the first half of the PHP book.

It’s not that it wasn’t interesting. I’m a break-apart kind of guy – always taking apart everything I can get my hands on, to understand how it works inside (and wrecking it at times) –  computers were the same, I wanted to understand what was going on inside.

But the reason why I really got into it was because of the fame and the glory.

I wanted to be Mark Zuckerberg; a young kid, with a laptop and a fast internet connection, who can conquer the world. I wanted to be Steve Jobs; introducing cool new stuff at conventions packed with thousands of anticipating industry leaders, and getting praises from everyone. I Did It For All The “Wrong” Reasons.  It wasn’t passion, it wasn’t the joy of learning, it was me wanting the “Star Effect” – me wanting to be “The Guy Who Made It”.

However,  is it really important why did you start doing something useful? I mean, yeah sure – it might not last for long. But the fact that I picked it up again, even 5 years later, means the seed has been planted. When I’ve tried to learn something once, the experience is “logged in” in the supercomputer that is my brain, and stored for later use. Even after I’ve failed to learn to program, I looked at websites differently. Suddenly all the actions that took place when I clicked a link or posted something on Facebook had a different taste.

So, maybe it’s not about why or when you start, it’s about whether at all you pick up the guitar and start playing. Don’t you think?