Writer’s Desk: Emerson Said Get Some Sleep

The Transcendentalist thinker and author Ralph Waldo Emerson (that’s his study above) nurtured the careers of many writers, most famously Henry David Thoreau. As a result, he had some advice for how writers should pursue their work.

In his journals, Emerson wrote this:

Finish each day before you begin the next, and interpose a solid wall of sleep between the two. This you cannot do without temperance.

If the statement seems axiomatic, that is a fair assessment. Nevertheless, just every writer has had that stretch where they let the days blur together, fail to get enough sleep, and refuse to acknowledge that their work is suffering.

Keep working. But remember when to stop. When you need to, take a nap.

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