Does writing energize or exhaust you?

The last time I became exhausted from writing was working on a dissertation. With my fiction writing? Never. I don’t set myself exhausting tasks. I take time between edits. Not too much time, though. I always share my work in small chunks so I get feedback fast, and know I’ll see around the next corner soon.

Does writing energize me? Yes. At moments, it truly makes my heart race, as a scene I’m working on unfolds and works, I solve a knotty problem, or capture an emotion. Also energizing is the unknown that promises to reveal itself.

Between writings, new material sits in my psyche, to be fed by the world and the unconscious. By the time I write again (sometime within a week), bits of plot have formed; my imagination is like an underground river, always available to dip into.

Once I’ve begun to build a world and some of its characters, conflicts and passions, I seldom feel ennuis with the story. It’s as though I can grow new rooms at any time. What is the secret to this? I’m not sure. In part, trusting the process. These are the factors in my writing history of the past decade: ongoing, steady participation; a fondness for all aspects of the process; and never pushing myself to exhaustion. Some hold images of the stormy, impetuous artist writing in great bouts, then sinking into pits of despair where no writing comes. I can testify that magic can be a slow yet energizing trickle.

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2 thoughts on “Does writing energize or exhaust you?

  1. Creative writing does energize me, especially when I am in the flow of a scene and I lose track of time as it unfolds on the page. Thinking about writing, or about how much I’m not writing, or how much I should be writing, now that depletes me.

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