I rarely consume alcohol, but I’m well familiar with hangovers thanks to many years of being around people who drink. A normal hangover is usually the result of taking in too much alcohol over a short period of time and leaves a person feeling absolutely wretched when they next wake up. While I’ve never had an alcohol related hangover, I have experienced a milder form of a hangover when I write intensively for long periods, and I refer to this as a writing hangover. Like its alcoholic cousin, the writing hangover symptoms include headache, fatigue, eyestrain, and sometimes thirst if I’ve neglected to get any water while writing. Unlike an alcohol hangover, the writing hangover is not something I wake up to, but tends to hit me right when I’m getting close to finishing whatever I’m working on. It’s also purely a mental ailment and goes away if I get some rest or switch to doing activities that require minimal mental exertion.
I got one of my more severe writing hangovers when I was typing out Friday’s monstrously long post on Batman: Arkham Knight, a post that went over 3,000 words and I think is the longest post on this blog to date. Much like the end of a wild night out on the town, when I was done with the initial draft and hit the save button, my head started hurting and my brain checked out for a few minutes. That was a clear sign that I was done for the day and I closed out the text editing program, content to come back the next day to make edits and prepare the final version. I had a writing hangover, but unlike an alcoholic hangover, I was somewhat glad to be having it, as it meant that I had gone all-out on the project.