1. mrieder79
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    mrieder79 Not a ground squirrel

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    How do you handle fatigue?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by mrieder79, Feb 15, 2014.

    I usually write in the evenings and after a full day of work and then getting the kids to bed I often fall victim to fatigue before I want to stop writing. I am sure that I am not the only one who experiences this and I was wondering how others cope.
     
  2. Earthshine
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    Earthshine Member

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    This might not be the answer you want to hear, but I get up earlier and go to bed earlier. I'm usually up by 6:00am, sometimes even earlier. This way I can write when I'm still fresh and be free from distraction. Of course, in order to do this I have to be in bed by around 9:00-ish. Or if you have a long lunch break at work, or if you use public transport to get to and from work, you could use these times to write.

    In terms of actually dealing with fatigue...there's not really any magic cures. Try letting yourself rest for a little while. Maybe do a minute or two of exercise to wake up your brain, or try some eye/brain exercises which are created to help you unlock both hemispheres of your brain. Have a proper, designated workspace, which is free from clutter and has a ergonomic office chair and desk. Try to have correct posture. DON'T rely on caffeine. Instead try drinking plenty of water.

    I know these all sound like pretty minor things, but I personally find they do help when they are all combined. Anyway, good luck with your writing.
     
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  3. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    I get a lot more writing done on the weekend. I'm lucky that my kids play quietly, though.
     
  4. Nightstar99
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    Nightstar99 Contributing Member

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    Physical fatigue I can usually write around. Mental fatigue and I am not doing any writing that day. I have suffered for many years with chronic fatigue syndrome which only in the last 12 months has really started to get better. It's not a coincidence that I have written as much in the last 12 months as I have in the preceding 5 years.

    I still get days where I just have mental fog and overall tiredness so that its an effort to get through the working day never mind anything else and those arent writing days for me.
     
  5. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    If I cannot write, I do have an app on my phone that translates speech to text. While I am out and about, cooking or working. I will talk out my ideas and later revise my stories later.
     
  6. mrieder79
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    mrieder79 Not a ground squirrel

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    What is the name of that app? That sounds useful.
     
  7. Mans
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    Mans Contributing Member

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    I've placed my computer on the floor ( on the carpet) instead of a desk. I put a soft pillow under my chest and lie down prone on the carpet and work with my computer for hours. This prevents fatigue to a large extent. Also if you work with pen and paper this method is good as well but be aware it may influences on stomach and backbone in long time and you have to have some exercises. I think if you use an air matters on the floor to lie down, it will be better.
     
  8. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    I write with a laptop on my bed.
     
  9. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Usually @KaTrian and I go for variety: if we're too tired to write, we might go for a late night walk and just discuss the story / a scene / a character etc, plan the hell out of it, for example, or we take a break, watch something and relax for a bit, and then go on writing until one of us starts nodding off.
     
  10. Motley
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    Motley Active Member

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    Get a little bit of exercise before you sit down to write. Don't go on a five mile run or anything, but march around the house once or do some dance moves to your favorite uplifting song. It'll get the blood pumping and wake you up a bit.
     
  11. AJC
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    AJC Active Member

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    Coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.
     
  12. FrankieWuh
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    FrankieWuh Active Member

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    Fatigue isn't an easy thing to solve. I've been through this myself - writing around day job and family things. When you don't have a routine for your writing that can get tiring, but not all of us have that choice, and sometimes routine is incompatible with responsibilities - it leaves little for the writing.

    Physically, if the act of actually sitting down and typing after a long day is a real problem, I'd say you're in more trouble than having mental fatigue. As Live2write says, you could use dictation as a way around it, but these tools take a lot of time to master if you have a strong accent, and a lot of writers struggle with how unnatural the whole process is, i.e. speaking your novel aloud while you think about it. I've used Dragon Naturally Speaking, but for me it wasn't Dragon Naturally Writing.
    My only advice for physical fatigue is exercise. Get marathon fit, build up stamina and avoid stimulants. Weird, I didn't expect to be talking about sport here, but fatigue is fatigue, is fatigue as they say, even when it's writing.

    Mental fatigue is tackled better when you are feeling at your best. I agree with Earthshine that getting up early to write might be an idea, but only if you are at your best in the morning. Some people peak at midday so writing at lunch is an idea if you are able to. Prioritising is a good idea too. Try to do all mundane tasks while you are utterly spent mentally and can do these on auto-pilot. Save the best for the writing.

    Cutting out, restricting or simplifying other activities can also help mental fatigue. Watching TV, for example, is unnecessary for writing, and can actually drain you mentally. Reading is another one. While reading is necessary for learning your craft, there is such a thing as reading too much if it makes you too tired to write. You need to strike a balance there. Sometimes listening to writing advice via podcasts, or listening to audiobooks is a good alternative to reading anything - it rests your eyes and parts of the brain you'll be using while you are writing.

    And then there's surfing the net, one of the biggest time-wasters around! ;)
    No, honestly, there is also such a thing as too much surfing, even too much time spent on forums. A person talking or reading about writing, isn't a person writing. To quote an old BBC TV programme, "Why Don't You..?", you should be switching off the telly and the internet and doing something far more important instead, like writing for instance.
     
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  13. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If I have fatigue, I sleep. I can't work when I'm mentally tired. I'm at my best just after I wake up - always have been. These days, owing to outside issues, I've been up late a night, and that's been screwing me up, because my body still wants to get up early. So I do, but I only get four hours sleep a night, and I need at least seven. Arrgh. Not getting enough sleep makes me feel stupid during the day. But this is the last week of this (hopefully!), and I can get back to a normal sleep schedule on the weekend. That will help me get my writing done.
     
  14. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    For many years, I did as you do because it was the only way. My writing probably suffered for it. But, as I've gotten older, fatigue hits earlier and so I find other ways. It helps that the kids are grown, although my wife's incessant television-watching can be an issue. In those cases, I don good-quality headphones, even though I prefer not to listen to music when I write.
     

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