Writer’s block is the bane of many a writer, turning promising projects into unending nightmares. As an author, it is easy to become bored, weary, even stressed with the craft of writing, eventually losing interest in an idea that once gave you joy.
Writer’s block and writer’s fatigue are two very similar concepts. However, writer’s block is often a temporary illusion that lifts once one’s creative juices are sparked and their enthusiasm for their work returns. Fatigue, on the other hand, tends to last longer, typically manifesting after extended periods of writing. The resulting frustration leaves one not only emotionally drained but mentally exasperated.
How to overcome fatigue?
While writer’s block emulates similar underlying causes across the board, the symptoms of writer’s fatigue are more distinct, at least for some authors. Most writers that have ever experienced this condition have attested to the confusion that tends to strike. This since of disorder is accompanied by frustration, not only over one’s work in general, but turmoil is felt in every single sentence and word written. The longer they stagnate in this situation, the more they become entangled in an endless loophole of rewriting the same ideas over and over without reaching satisfaction. Struggling under the sense that every sentence they write is worthless, they sink deeper into negative feelings of dissatisfaction – clouding their judgment and impacting their writing quality.
The question of how to overcome fatigue has no absolute answers because the causes of fatigue vary with each author. Different authors have different breaking points beyond which they experience fatigue. Thus, the most effective means of combating fatigue might vary with each individual. Some of the most common means through which experienced authors have combated fatigue, especially during the process of writing a particularly lengthy book, include the following:
Break Up Your Writing
The easiest solution to defeating writer’s block is to simply write, pushing through the barrier and eventually finding your rhythm. Even though it’s tempting to keep writing while you’re on a roll, taking a break is healthy. Authors experiencing fatigue are unlikely to find any solace in this approach, however. Instead, they are encouraged to break away from the writing process.
When fatigue hits, writers will often experience aches in their muscles, joints, and head. Taking an hour-long stroll for every 20 minutes of writing will allow you to readjust and refresh yourself.
Change Your Location
Most writers have special places from where they work. Offices or cafés are the most popular choices for spending countless hours staring at a computer screen and tapping away at the keyboard. Changing your location can have a drastic impact on your perspective as a writer. If you spend most of your time cocooned in a quiet home office, find a comfortable café. The buzz of the crowds will keep your alert. Writers whose schedules revolve around eateries in the city might consider finding a more scenic location such as the beach to write from every once in a while
Meditation can do wonders for your writing capabilities. The right meditative techniques will not only calm your emotions, but they will also clear your mind of all clutter. Meditation before writing will appropriately relax you for the task at hand while meditation after writing will allow you to combat stress and fatigue.
Listen to Your Body
Sometimes the simplest method of fighting fatigue is to simply listen to your body. When the aches manifest and your brain begins to tire, stop writing. When your health deteriorates, your work will suffer. Do not force yourself to write through the fatigue. Set aside time for resting by taking a break for a day or two when necessary.
Take a Nap
Thinking and writing are both difficult without adequate rest. Taking a short, 20-30 minute nap can do wonders for your attitude by eliminating brain fog and giving you the energy needed to write. However, anything more than 30 minutes can actually make you more tired so be careful not to overdo it.
The one thing any writer must realize when suffering from both writer’s block and fatigue is that this too shall pass. These creative struggles rarely last forever, and though it might seem like you’ll never figure out the words, in time, you will. The question of how to overcome fatigue has a variety of answers; from exercise to sleep and even caffeine. Ultimately, as an author you should first understand your limits before undertaking any major writing projects. This will allow you to locate and nurture those methods that can best help you in your own personal battles with fatigue.