Dealing with writer’s fatigue
Recently, tiredness has been a big problem in my writing. Uni has been giving me a hard time and so my writing all gets done in the evening, if at all. More than once, I’ve found myself simply unable to write: the words won’t come, I can’t get into my characters’ heads, and so on.
It is all, needless to say, very frustrating. Thus, I’ve started thinking hard on how to deal with it.
Below, I list the various ways in which I’ve gotten out of such ruts before; these therefore, are how I intend to get out the present one. This list is by no means exhaustive and is not qualified by anything besides my own limited experience; even so, I hope people will find it useful.
So, let’s begin…
1. Strong coffee
This is one I’m sure we’ve all done at some point or other. A tip I picked up recently is to have the drink black and not add any milk or sugar. This seems to work, though I can’t say I understand why. It might all just be in my head, but hey.
…oh, and DON’T try this if you prefer to write late at night. That’s just asking for trouble. This, by the way, brings me to…
2. Start sooner
If you usually write late in the day, then the solution could well be to simply start earlier. Examine your schedule with a critical eye and work out if you really need to start as late as you do. Rearrange your schedule as needed, and away you go.
…of course, for many people this won’t be an opinion. If you’re one of them, then try…
3. Splash some cold water on your face.
…nothing to add, here! Next.
3. Fresh air
Often, a stroll is just what is needed. Leave your writing for an hour or so, walk about in the sunshine (or the wind and rain!) and then return to your writing afterwards, refreshed and ready to go.
If this doesn’t work, however, there’s always:
Sometimes, a simple walk isn’t enough to clear your head; in this case, a proper workout may be the answer. I usually do squats, press-ups and sit-ups, in that order. I don’t do enough to tire myself out, but I do do enough to get my blood pumping.
Incidentally, this is what I did before starting this evening’s session. Had I not done so, I doubt this post would have materialised.
5. Know when to quit.
Sometimes, a scene just doesn’t want to get written. In this situation, the very worst thing you can do is to try to keep going. Try working on a different scene. Failing that, stop altogether. Go away from your writing, do something else and do not even think about going back for the rest of the day. You never know; a break might be just the thing you needed.
Do you do any of these? Find them helpful? Know any other tips that you’d like to share? Share it all down below 🙂