Your regular writing routine falters. Ideas no longer flow from your skull like a junior high student’s volcano project. You know your content needs to be king, but you feel more like an indentured servant to it. Then, the worse thing possible happens; writing stops feeling entertaining. Your “I ❤ The Writer’s Life” smartphone’s lock screen window starts to mock you. And, next thing you know, you’re binge watching Real Housewives instead of getting some well-meaning writing done.
Is this a sign that you will never pick up a pen, pencil, keyboard, or typewriter again?
No, you’re probably just suffering from writer’s fatigue.
First, here’s the definition of fatigue as paraphrased from the Mayo Clinic: “Unrelenting exhaustion that lasts longer or is more profound and isn’t relieved by rest [alone]…”
In other words, your writing makes you feel weary over a long period of time and that can effect every aspect of your life.
So, what are the typical side effects of writer’s fatigue?
- Losing your joy and creative spark when it comes to your writing assignments.
- Focusing on the negative such as poor sales, low ratings, and of course “destructive” criticism from reviews.
- Writer’s doubt rears its ugly head along with writer’s block.
- Internal self-criticism starts to sound more like a high school bully’s taunts.
- You’re re-working the same parts in a story without making any real progress.
If you feel like the above points describes your current mood on a weekly, if not monthly basis, don’t fret!
Just try adding these things in your life to counteract the “blahs” that come with writer’s fatigue:
Get Plenty of Rest
Night owls remember that the brain needs to recoup from editing/revising and dealing with a soul-sapping day job. Making time for sleep or a regularly scheduled cat nap will help ease the torture that follows pulling multiple all-nighters just to complete your manuscript.
You Are Not Alone
Check any social media outlet and you will find other writers who are dealing with the same things as you. Some may have gone so far as to take a break from writing, in order to focus on their own mental, physical or emotional health.
And, guess what? That’s good. Don’t be afraid to reach out to experienced writers, who may have suffered from and survived fatigue. They may have tips that can give you great advice on how to keep keeping on.
Invest In Ergonomic Equipment
Writing on your stomach while laying in bed or hunching over in an uncomfortable arm chair while writing can cause aches and pains over time. Consider buying a comfy desk chair, an ergonomic keyboard and mouse set, or just remember to move around once in a while (and blink once in a while).
Get Your Own Space
Speaking of getting your own comfy desk chair. You man need a change of scenery. No, you might not be able to afford that gorgeous beach-side cabana in an exotic island rainforest with plenty of fruity drinks and free WiFi. But, you can find your own space to return the good writing vibes. Just check out these 100 famous authors and their work spaces to get inspired.
Finally, whether you take writing seriously or just enjoying it as a hobby remember that the symptoms of writer’s fatigue can sneak up on you and hopefully these tips will help you stay clear of letting writer’s fatigue ruin your life.
In the comments below, let me know how you deal with writer’s fatigue? What’s your go to method to prevent fatigue of any kind?