What does a writer do when exhaustion outweighs the creative thought process? Write or not write. What gets a writer to weigh in and decide that writing is more important than needed rest and a few more winks? Is it meeting a writing goal? Is it being stubborn about not letting other stuff get in the way of getting words onto the screen? Or, does the sofa call your name just a little louder than the laptop? Do the weary bones cry to sit too soon, not making it to the desk chair?
What keeps you writing when you are running on empty? What keeps you motivated when life is so filled with other things? A job. A family. Errands. Bill paying. Chores. Do you give in and let everything else consume you? Or do you just scan your emails, promising to look at them more closely tomorrow? Do you let the dusting go, the dishes pile up, and the laundry wait for another day? Do think the floors really do need a once over, and then sit your sweet butt down in your chair and let your fingers click away?
As a writer to be, do you dream of the day when you’ll hit it big and no longer need to juggle it all? As a newly published writer, do you wonder why you ever thought it’d be any better on the other side? Can your days be any more full now? Do you spend every spare moment on social media, making a name for yourself and getting your book noticed? As a published writer with several books under your belt, are you finally in a place where you can breathe and have more time for writing and for promoting your book?
What inspires you as a writer to keep going when your life is running on empty? Do you take a walk to clear your mind, reflect and consider your possibilities? Do you detach from the digital world and pour yourself into days and nights of research on your next topic? Do you take a drive, either in the city or country? Do you focus on a secondary hobby to distract yourself, hoping the creative juices will outweigh the low energy vibe?
Sometimes, stepping away is good. Whether it’s a walk in the neighborhood or a nearby park, getting some fresh air does the body and mind a favor. Stepping away brings new perspective. Other times, taking that drive or focusing on research or your secondary hobby is just what you need. And yet, at other times, a nap is good. The body and mind have a way of repairing themselves during times of rest.
So, when you as a writer are running on empty, consider your options. What do you need to do? Do you need to take the evening off? Do you need to focus on something else? Do you just need to be lazy? Or, maybe you just need to write about what is on your mind? Maybe your body is on empty, but your mind still needs to get those words down? Once your words pour out of yourself, however many or less they are, you feel accomplished in that short story, small poem, or little paragraph. The exhaustion seems less. In its place, there is more contentment than unrest.
So, what happens when you just write despite being on empty? Do you find your next writing idea? Do you become energized and conquer your exhaustion? Do you pick up enough steam to carry you through into your next writing day? Sometimes, it will be a surprise, and you won’t know until you decide it’s just what you want to do: write while you are running on empty. Try it the next time you’re running on empty. See what happens. I just did.
Do you like to be inspired? Be sure to check out my book, “Honor One Another: The ABCs of Embracing Our Spirit Within,” on my Books page. Thanks so much!
One thought on “Writing On Empty”
I love this perspective. Sometimes you just need to push on, instead of falling into the trap of comforting yourself, not because it’s the ‘hustle 2020’ thing to do, but because it helps you discover what you’re truly made of—something that’s not possible without first challenging yourself. Thanks for this post!
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