. So – I’m writing this book. My second book is resolutely beginning in my head (despite my plaintive pleas to at least wait until January). I’m also doing dance classes and dance videos every night, I go to the gym, I do a full, hard day’s work every day. I am also trying to fit in Christmas preparation and shopping and get-togethers. All in all, my life is a bit crowded. Also, it is bitterly cold in England at the moment, which exhausts me, and I actually have a cold. It all came to a head on Wednesday, when I was so exhausted and drained, I had to go home from work sick. And then I decided although Wednesday is my day for writing, I was going to take a rest from writing that particular night.
Non-writers don’t seem to realise how exhausting writing can be. It’s not just the severe physical effort (although, can I mention – writer’s cramp and repetitive strain injury?). It’s the emotional journey.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t just write my character’s emotions down. I feel that emotion whilst I write it. I feel fear, anger, love, passion, with all my characters as I write – and that is just so draining. It can be exhilarating, but exhausting.
And of course, intellectually tiring too. Planning, researching, re-planning. Choosing and experimenting with styles. Finding a structure. Perhaps doing massive amounts of research. Trying to keep your characters alive in your head, and coming up with the next line, the next scene, the next chapter.
I don’t think it’s good to write when feeling this drained and tired. I won’t produce anything good, I’ll get annoyed at myself for the poor quality of what I write, and I’ll get even more tired out, and reluctant to go back to writing later.
I love writing, but it does wear me out. And I think I’ve pushed myself a touch too hard for a few weeks. So this night, I decided, I won’t write. I’ll just take a rest, and hopefully, next week, come back to the book re-energised and raring to go. I told myself I won’t feel guilty for not writing, or feel like I’m wasting time. I think tonight, for one evening, I’ll just take a well earned and much needed rest.