WriterÔÇÖs fatigue and writerÔÇÖs block are similar concepts. Whereas blocks can happen at any point in the writing process, even before youÔÇÖve begun, fatigue normally occurs after extended periods of writing. The condition is frustrating, emotionally draining, and affect confidence.
The symptoms of writerÔÇÖs fatigue include some of the following.
- Unclear thinking
- Frustration with sentence structure and vocabulary
- Feeling like every sentence written is worthless
- Rewriting the same concept repeatedly with no satisfaction
- Negative thinking that clouds judgment, thoughts, and writing style
Unfortunately, there is no magic pill that will ease this roadblock in your writing; however, there are a few ways you can reduce its impact over time.
- Break up your writing ÔÇô Even though itÔÇÖs tempting to keep writing while youÔÇÖre on a roll, taking a break is healthy. Sitting in front of a computer is physically detrimental to your health.
Every 20 minutes or so, give yourself several seconds to readjust. Get up and walk around every hour or two. When writerÔÇÖs fatigue hits, you will likely feel it in your muscles and joints as well as in your head. Set a timer if you canÔÇÖt remember to get up and move around.
- Change your location ÔÇô If you write in the same place every day, you may just need a change of scenery. Try standing up, go outside, or do your work in a coffee shop. Anything that forces you to move around challenges your brain and decreases the likelihood of burnout.
- Complete a guided meditation ÔÇô Do a simple Google search for ÔÇ£guided meditations.ÔÇØ Find one that looks calming to you and do it. Turn out the lights, lay down, and try to follow the instructions. Sometimes, clearing your mind and being present in the moment will give you enough of a rest to start writing again or the confidence to put it off for another time.
- Honor your body ÔÇô It is time to stop writing if you have aches, your brain feels tired, and you are reacting emotionally to your writing. Everybody works differently. Your work and your health will suffer by forcing yourself to write through your fatigue. Set limits on your rest. Take a day or two, but never longer than a week. You want time to recover, not time to get out of practice.
- Communicate ÔÇô When writers spend several hours in their heads, ideas become muddled and stop making sense. Call or visit a friend and go over ideas together. Hearing yourself can help reorient your thoughts.
- Exercise ÔÇô Exercise is good for your mind and body. Physical exertion increase blood flow and circulation. Your thoughts become clearer and restlessness settles with exercise. Afterwards, stretch and take a shower before starting to write again.
- Keep writing ÔÇô Those who write for a living may not be able to afford a lengthy break or may be working under a tight deadline. When the only choice is to keep writing, look online for inspiration. Keep searching for different iterations of an idea until something strikes you, and then follow the thought. Getting something down to begin with may make going back and reevaluating the content much simpler. You may find that your content isnÔÇÖt as bad as you thought it was.
- Take a nap ÔÇô Thinking and writing are both difficult without adequate rest. A short, 30-minute nap can do wonders for your attitude, eliminate brain fog, and give you the energy needed to write. Anything over 30 minutes, however, can actually make you more tired.
- Complete a power posture for 2 minutes ÔÇô This recommendation is based on a TED Talk by social psychologist Amy Cuddy. Get up and remain in a ÔÇ£power poseÔÇØ for 2 minutes. Set the timer and stand with your legs apart and hands on your hips or in another assertive position. Two minutes is all it takes to physically alter the way you think. The original purpose for the exercise is to improve interview performance; however, it can give you the necessary boost to sit down and write again.
- Grab some caffeine ÔÇô If possible, enjoy a cup of coffee on a deck or out in the yard. The caffeine ÔÇô and the break ÔÇô may provide you with clarity. Limit your use of caffeine when youÔÇÖre feeling fatigued or you could develop an unhealthy dependency.
WriterÔÇÖs fatigue is not a fun experience, and it does have the potential to compound over time, which may lead to burnout. Avoid burnout by incorporating some of these fatigue-fighting solutions. If you reach the end of your rope, take some time away from writing to refocus. YouÔÇÖll need to develop healthy ways to cope with writerÔÇÖs fatigue before starting to write again. Jumping back into a routine too quickly could lead to a relapse, which can also damage writing confidence.
Listen to your body and your mind and address fatigue when it strikes. If you do, you will be able to keep up your writing pace in a balanced and sustainable way.