Writing Fatigue

It’s day 23 of the National Novel Writing Month, and I’m struggling a little. Not so much with the word count, which is currently a shade under where it should be but not enough to worry about. No, I’m experiencing something else.


1667 words a day on top of a regular job is pretty brutal. I can take it for a month, but long term it just wouldn’t be tenable. My arms ache. My head is fuzzy. I feel astonishingly tired. This is why my daily writing drops to about a third of this output outside of the challenge; I simply can’t keep it up.

Writing seems easy to those who don’t write. You’re sat at a keyboard and typing stuff! How can that be tiring? To those of us who do, we know otherwise. It’s immensely draining. How much energy does it take to create whole worlds, to animate whole new people, to make them all move and come alive? We’re turning a big and heavy wheel that makes the plot happen, and we have to take all of this and boil it down into a stream of words that somehow convey not only what’s happening but what it feels like and how those people we’re reading about feel. We’re creating whole worlds and grinding them into words. It’s exhausting!

Another week remains in this year’s challenge. Another seven days of turning the crank at triple speed. I’m not stopping now!

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