November 15, 2017
In an ideal world, every time I sit down to write I would be refreshed. My mind would be sharp, and my body ready and willing to get started. But an ideal world does not exist.
I work full-time. To achieve goals and meet deadlines, I must make time to write. That means writing after work and on weekends. It means carving out time to write during holidays. And depending on a deadline, it may mean working on a project during a vacation.
More so, it often means writing while tired.
Because there is usually not enough hours in a day to do everything we want to do. And it’s better to write tired than not at all!
It’s how I’m able to achieve goals. It’s how I managed to write five kids’ books this year. And, it’s how I prepare new content for this blog.
Make it Happen
Most writers can relate.
If you can’t, know one day you will. Here are some strategies that work for me. They may help you too.
Eat something. It’s easy to ignore food when trying to achieve a word count or meet a deadline. But, it’s not wise. Eating balanced meals helps, generally. But the habit also provides needed fuel for energizing weary bodies. After a busy day at work, I’ll come home and get dinner. Taking time to eat gives me some needed down time before turning on my laptop.
Drink something. Proper hydration also helps refresh our bodies. Water is essential. But some writers also swear by other beverages. Me? I drink lots of water – and coffee!
Take a break. When I get home, I usually have to take an hour’s break before I am mentally ready to start writing. Sometimes that includes eating dinner. Other times I’ll spend an hour sitting on the couch watching a re-run of a favorite series. Occasionally, I opt for a nap, setting timers on my cell phone to assure I get back up as planned.
Change position. Reposition your body. Move your laptop, research material, and other items to a different side of your work table or desk than where they normally sit. This gives your head, neck and shoulder muscles a break. Standing up is another option. A lot of writers use a standing desk to reduce or minimize pain as they type. Using one may also help reduce tiredness.
Write elsewhere. A change of scenery works. Try a different location at home or outdoors than your usual writing spot. Choose somewhere that’s conducive to writing, and which offers little or no distractions.
Manage distractions. Focusing on distractions adds to your weariness. Rather manage them. See my blog article on the topic for real tips that help reduce the impact of distractions on your work.
Exercise. It seems counter-productive to exercise when tired. But I’ve discovered that a 30-minute cardio workout provides a much needed boost of energy. In addition, doing yoga or pilates relaxes my muscles for several days, and diminishes overall weariness.
Tune into inspiration. Listening to gospel music or watching a church’s program on TV or online inspires my creativity. Doing so also soothes my spirit. Albeit, sometimes it’s just background “noise” because I can’t fully tune into such inspiration and devote attention to a work-in-progress.
Be picky. Choose the “write” project. Which one is that? The manuscript that excites you, banishing fatigue by the mere thought of it.
Write mentally. When your project comes to mind, think it through as if you’re writing it down. When able capture those words in print. I conceived this piece recently while walking home from my commuter bus. It was sparked by the thought, “I’m too tired to write tonight.” Immediately, I began mentally drafting this article. By the time I logged onto my computer the words came quickly and easily.
Write less. Determine how many words you must write each week to meet your project goal. Unless you’re on a tight deadline and must churn out words quickly, consider writing less on the days you’re most tired. Make up your word count another day.
Write Like a Pro
Writing tired is no fun. And, no one really wants to write while tired. But it’s how professional writers meet deadlines and achieve publication goals,
Indeed, it’s a strategy that works! If you commit to writing even while tired, you’ll achieve goals, and may even exceed some. And you’ll glean time-management skills that will prove useful as you grow and develop as a writer.
Lisa A. Crayton is an award-winning freelance writer, multi-published author, conference speaker…and more. She loves helping writers, and challenging them to achieve their goals and dreams! Connect with her on Facebook.