11 January

Writing Through Exhaustion...

Short Story: You have to do it.

Long Story: Finding a way to do it.

You're healthy, you're fit, and you've had sleep, and you look at the clock, and know it's time for your writing session.

But you feel the gravity around your body at approximately 628%, and the acuity of your mind is lower than the Archie comic character, Moose's, on his worst day.

You have prison pallor, bags under your eyes, and a weird scent is coming from your hoodie. (Okay, this all could just be me.)

You have writing deadlines that are threatening not to be met if you do not do what readers expect you to do, and that is to hunker down, put that 4th cup of coffee to the side, and get creating.

(Feel free to laugh now at the layman's romantic version of being a full-time writer. Crikey, I don't even own a cravat.)

Yes. Mental exhaustion can overtake. 99% of the time it's due to stress. And that stress can be the 7th circle of hell if you don't find a way to break the cycle...




No writing > More worrying > Less sleep > More exhaustion > No writing.

You get the drift.

How do you break that cycle? You write through the exhaustion.



You write regardless > Your self-image soars with pride that you managed to plunk those keys, however bull-in-a-china-shop ungraceful the act may have been > You're more tired for that mental effort come bedtime > The worrying about not writing disappears > You collapse into a contented coma > You wake up, exhaustion and guilt free > You happily write again.

In order to break this nightmarish cycle, you have to allow yourself to have a bloody awful writing day when you pound those keys on the projects that need doing — regardless of how you feel or how well you're writing.

~ Basically, it's nature's way of punishing you for ending up in that negative cycle in the first place. Way. To Go. ~

You've heard how the best way to write every day is to write every day, trying everything you can to NOT break that self-fulfilling cycle.

But life can get in the way — sickness, holidays, emergencies — where your good habit breaks, and you fall for the umpteenth time, head long, into the No Writing Fatigue abyss.

At some point, you must come to terms with the fact that you screwed up. You know you need to stop the negative cycle, cold turkey, and grab a hold of the ledge and claw your way back up to where the good cycle resides.





Just like with any bad habit, stopping cold turkey hurts, and hurts bad. The Horror...

Suck it up. Suffer through that exhausted writing day. Then go to sleep later that night assured that the next day, you'll be back on track — no exhaustion, much self-confidence, and renewed excitement about writing consistently again.

Fact: No matter how many years or how many works you've produced, this fall from grace can and will happen. Veteran writers aren't any more immune to the negative cycle than you. If they say they have no problems writing every day, they are lying. Life happens, even to the blue-blood blessed. Take some evil comfort in that. I surely do.


Today, I look, and feel, like crap. Thanks a lot, you Christmas cheer.

Today, I will write. And it will be painful. (help...me...)

I will take a shower afterwards to wash off any residual crappy feeling. (Be gone with you, oh, Mr. Crapoid!)

And tonight, I will collapse into bed, and I will sleep the sleep of the contented, rather proud of myself. (Hey, stop snickering... we writers barely have a life. We have to grab imagined good stuff where we conjure it.)


Okay now, it's your turn, oh, exhausted word hound. TAG!

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