Why Is Writing So Exhausting?

Hey everyone, happy Sunday! I hope you all are ready for Christmas and ready to celebrate the coming of a new year. December is always a busy month. And I haven’t even finished my Christmas shopping yet. But somehow, I managed to squeeze in some writing time even though I’ve been hit with a lack of motivation recently. But fear not, I got it back. I can’t help but wonder if any of you ever go through what seems to happen to me when I write. I become so tired that I have to take frequent breaks. But why? What is it about writing that is so exhausting?

It’s mentally exhausting…

When I sit down to write a scene or a chapter, I tend to get lost in the moment if the scene is exceptionally good. It’s weird, how you get so emotionally involved in what happens to your characters. Even though it’s you who is making everything happen to them. But when I’m done my brain feels like it needs to go on vacation. I have to stop and take a breath and do something else to release all the tension. Sometimes it takes me a few minutes and sometimes it takes me an hour to get back into it. But most of the time it varies.

It’s physically exhausting…

After getting so lost that it feels like the story is writing itself, the back of my neck hurts, my shoulders hurt, my back becomes stiff and so do my legs. I have to get out of my chair and walk around a bit, sometimes I need to stretch my muscles like I’m about to run a marathon. Sitting in the chair writing for a long time may not look like hard work but it is. And you will notice the difference in how you feel physically from start to finish. So, it helps to keep yourself hydrated and fed before a long writing session. I highly recommend taking breaks and even going outside and getting some fresh air for a while before cabin fever sets in. It’s hard to be creative when your body is sore, and your mind is under too much stress.

I noticed that actors go through a similar thing. When they have to do a highly emotional scene, it takes a lot out of them and puts them in a very vulnerable state. Because they are so in the moment that they can forget that it wasn’t real. Some actors even have to remain in character long before or after they shoot a scene in order to not allow themselves to get distracted. Whatever works for them. At times I have found myself crying over a scene that I’ve written because I was able to relate to it in some way or because it took me to a dark place. Those moments are especially mentally and emotionally draining.

There is no real way to combat the feelings of exhaustion while writing, but taking frequent breaks, staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep helps a great deal before a writing session. I hope some of the tips I gave work for you. Have a great week.

Until next time…

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