Writer’s Fatigue? Go Out and Play

Ideas come naturally to me. That is the easy part. When it comes to the actual writing part, I don’t wait for the muse because he’s never there when I need him. As a discipline, I schedule time to write. On the most busy days, it may be 30 minutes. I also carry my iPad with me and I write while riding the bus or train. Of course, I look forward to the days when I have much longer time to write.

The first part of my writing process is daydreaming, then brainstorming, and then plotting out the novel. In the beginning, I’m full of ideas. I have it. I’m set to write the next Great Indian-American Novel Great Third-Culture Kid Novel. It’ll be amazing. I’m totally psyched out, excited, and infatuated with the ideas. I compose entire chapters and proud of my work. That can make me exhausted. It may sound surprising but not so much when you think about the writing process itself.

Writing can be emotionally exhausting. That great novel I’m determined to write doesn’t sound so great afterall. It is crap. The sentences start becoming dull. And the events don’t seem to connect or make sense. Nothing seems to make sense and I start to feel the dullness. Sometimes, I feel dry and just too tired to think anymore. I can’t even seem to manage to type just a few more words. It felt very equivalent to physical fatigue. I wanted to just lay down and not even lift a finger. These feelings are normal. Writing is a marathon not a sprint.

This feeling is normal. When writer’s fatigue comes along, this is what I do. I close my laptop and go out and play. Celebrate what you have accomplished so far. It can be anything from writing a few paragraphs to finally naming one of your characters with the perfect name. It’s nice to not take your craft so seriously even though the techniques of writing fiction does take work! Remember, why did you choose to do this? What originally inspired you and the great joy you experienced when you first came up with the ideas.

Stop there. Then, take a break. And go out and play. Do something else that is creative, enjoyable, and pleasurable. It can be anything from:

Enjoying a slice of cheesecake all to myself…

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Or I grab my yoga mat and it’s my own indivdualized pilates or yoga session.

After watching bellydancing performance and instructional videos. I decided to give it a try. I hope I am graceful, beautiful, and fluid like the instructor instead of an awkward klutz with stiff arms. Hey, at least I can move my hips. By the way, the picture you see here is me trying on a bellydancing outfit in a store in Dubai just for fun.

Bellydancing outfit

Bake a fresh loaf of bread. Baking is relaxing and nothing like the scent of fresh bread. Here I made a cinnamon raisin loaf by hand. That’s right. No bread machines or any other short cuts.

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Watch a movie on Netflix…

Or grab a Jack and Coke at the bar. In Australia, they sell Jack and Coke premixed in cans.

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When you overwork, you know it’s time to go out and play. Likewise, it’s no different from writing. Writing fatigue is normal. Everyone goes through frustrating moments in their pen life. Give yourself grace.


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