I have spent 2 days wondering whether to blog about this or not. I didn’t want to appear that I was whinging, however maybe this article will be useful to you, I would be interested in hearing how you deal with such things yourself because this fatigue leaves you feeling pretty down about your writing and worthiness in the field.
I decided this morning I would write about it and started researching. (Hoping the answers I find will make me feel better about my writing self.)
I know about burn out and fatigue – it is no different in the world of writing, especially when you are working and trying to balance, life, family and writing outside these hours. (Which, let’s be straight most of us are – dreaming of the days when we can make a living being a writer but until then trying to squeeze it into every little gap of time life throws us!)
I have taken on extra paid work recently, this has left me tired (over-tired) and feeling stressed and fraught. I am not in the middle of any major writing projects, where writers block can occur and lead to a fatigue. I have just signed up for NaPoWriMo and NaNoWriMo though and have a lot of writing future going on in my head (times when you constantly seem to be thinking about it, mulling it over and creating stories mentally) in an already overfull mind!
I have taken a week off events, although this has been a good way to conserve energy, I believe the lack of direct contact with creatives has left me feeling dulled. This is the first time since December that I have had a week off from the world of spoken word.
I have started to doubt the quality of my writing. Feel low when I am writing. Feel low when I avoid writing. A vicious circle.
When I looked into it the best advice (as with insomnia) is go and do something else. Leave the laptop alone for a whole day, 2 days. Release the pressure. The writing you produce otherwise may well not be good enough, it is a waste of time trying when you are suffering from this fatigue. Leave it alone and come back to it – even if you have submission deadlines.
I see light at the end of this tunnel. There is only 1 more week of work before our 2 week Easter break – a time for R & R and a writing catch up. But in these last few days of juggling life, work and writing – I keep dropping all the balls!
For now – it is good to know it IS normal, no writer escapes it, even established ones. That you can’t force it when it won’t come. That stepping away is not avoiding it, it is giving your mind space and time to work through it. There is another side, the days when you are full of writing energy and can’t write enough, when 24 hours is not enough time to get everything down on the screen.
Have you ever suffered writer fatigue?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.