Monday, May 4, 2015

5 Ways to Recover from Writer's Fatigue

There are many reasons a person can experience writer's fatigue. It’s that feeling of being spent, used up, and drained of creativity. It can happen after any intensive session of writing, editing, battling deadlines, and even taking part in online challenges like the April A-Z Challenge. While we gain a lot from all these activities, they can also wear us out. If this has happened to you, then below are my suggestions on how to refill that creative well.

1. Take a short break and stop trying to “be the writer.” Be something else for a while. Turn off the computer and experience some life. There is no better well-filler than life. Even mundane life. We get our ideas and creativity from those unexpected places, the bland, the interesting, the unusual places that life has to offer.

2. Read a good book. Not a book you have to read because you agreed to write a review. Not a book you promised to read because it was written by a friend. Just a book you enjoy. One that brings with it little to no pressure. No matter the subject matter or genre, good books inspire.

3. Write something new. Step out of your comfort zone and try writing within a different genre than you would normally. Try non-fiction. Flash fiction. Explore a different topic.

4. Learn something new. Feeding the brain with new and interesting information or different approaches to an old method, can open the mind to new possibilities, new ideas, and new avenues of creativity.

5. Get physical. Exercise gets the blood pumping and pushes those cobwebs away to make room for new, energized thoughts and creations.

What works best for you while recovering from writing fatigue?

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31 comments:

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I find enjoying some real life ignites my creativity and desire to write again.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Great suggestions! Reading is one of my go-to activities for calming down, for re-filling the well.

Linda Kay said...

I don't have as much trouble with the writing as I do with editing. I definitely have to walk away then.

Christine Rains said...

It always helps me to read or watch something new and refresh my brain, get inspired.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Practicing my guitar and playing something new refreshes me.

Bish Denham said...

These are all excellent ideas, all of which I do. Taking a drive with my hubby in our '57 Chevy on a spring day (which we've had plenty of this year) is one of my favorite things to do.

Chrys Fey said...

This is just what all of us need right now. I took a three day break but now I'm back to blogging and beginning a blog tour. Exhaustion and I know each other very well. haha

Pat Hatt said...

A little break keeps the cat on the go. But when a break I take you'd never know

M.R. R. said...

Sleep helps.

Lidy Wilks said...

A break is definitely what I need. These are some great suggestions you listed. I think I'd add, along with reading a good book, is reading a good manga (graphic novel) you've been interested in. Maybe marathon an anime and or (for me in particular) marathon an Asian drama.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Reading and exercising are my two best go-to things to get my writing bug moving again.

Mark Koopmans said...

This may sound weird, but the only books I read are the ones I enjoy :)

A-Z was a solid literary booster for me and I'm looking forward to getting back to WIPdom !!

Patricia Lynne said...

You forgot naps! Naps are my go to when I need a recharge. Or if I just can't keep my eyes open in the middle of the day. ;)

Feather Stone said...

I've joined up with Dr. David Suzuki's "Nature Challenge" where we commit to spending 30 minutes in nature for 30 days: 30X30 Nature Challenge. It's invigorating and calming at the same time. Inspiration flows naturally. Check out my blog: http://www.featherstoneauthor.wordpress.com

J.L. Campbell said...

Good tips Lynda. It keeps us in a good frame of mind to step back now and then and relax.

Nadine_Feldman said...

This weekend was our monthly "gallery walk," which is a fun time to walk downtown, go into the galleries, and connect with friends. It was something completely different, and I found it refreshing. Then yesterday I worked on genealogy, which I had neglected during the AtoZ. Today when I sat down to write I felt refreshed and productive.

David Macaulay said...

Great advice Michelle - I find a long walk at the beach helps too

Lynda R Young said...

Diane, there is no substitute to real life.

Madeline, and reading is so enjoyable!

Linda, editing can be a challenge.

Christine, it's all about getting new input.

Alex, you have a wonderful outlet.

Bish, it's a great time of year for you.

Chrys, wow, I'm impressed. Best wishes for your blog tour.

Pat, so true! You're very clever at taking those breaks ;)

MRR, sleep is a win.

Lidy, I do love the anime art.

Susan, a great combo!

Mark, that's not weird at all. It's smart.

Patricia, I did forget naps. Silly me, because I use them a lot to recharge too.

Feather, I like the sound of that challenge.

Joy, exactly

Nadine, I haven't been to a gallery in a long while. I must fix that.

David, walks at the beach are so relaxing.

speculationsimpressed said...

For me, it's physical exercise as hard as it may be because of mobility limitations. Getting up and cleaning a room gets that cobwebs out.

Mary Aalgaard said...

Some things I do: take a walk, visit with a friend, play the piano, interact with kids, take a trip, eat some of the Biker Chef's delicious food!

Michelle Wallace said...

I'm going to do the first two, take a short break and read a good book... maybe sometime next week...

I also have plans for a new creative venture. Just waiting for some feedback...

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

When I get hung up on writing, I read more, which leads me to doing more research...which in turn gets me back to writing.

Stephsco said...

I've been Spring Cleaning. Which should have been Winter Cleaning, but oh well. I am not hugely fond of cleaning, so I should be back to writing in no time :)

Carol Kilgore said...

Great advice! I know, because I've used them all :)

AJ Lauer said...

It's all about the exercise for me! Also, cleaning the house. I find that giving my body and my surroundings a bit of order always helps my mind figure itself out :)
(There has been a lot of cleaning and exercising in my life since the end of A-Z!)

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Strange, but cookies, ice-cream, and chocolates always rejuvenate me. I know, go figure.

Medeia Sharif said...

I'll read, watch movies, and declutter around the house.

Jemi Fraser said...

I've used all of those! I love bouncing from thing to thing to thing, so that helps too :)

Sharon Marie Himsl said...

Good advice. Thanks!

M Pax said...

I'm in recovery mode right now. Usually I get a craft book and learn something new. I also usually write a short story before delving into the next novel.

Lynda R Young said...

Speculations, yep, exercise doesn't have to be about sweating yourself close to death. Simply being active and physically moving about is beneficial.

Mary, ah, eating, my favourite pastime. You have a great list there.

Michelle, oo, I'm curious about your new creative venture!

Sharon, reading really does work for me too.

Stephsco, hahha, I can relate. It's a clever trick.

Carol, and they all work!

AJ, hehe yep, the house gets a good clean at these times.

Joylene, it's about treating oneself. I totally understand. Especially when it comes to chocolate.

Medeia, all great things.

Jemi, change is good, however small.

Sharon, thanks

Mary, writing those short stories are liberating, especially after coming off a long-term project.