October seems like a good time to reflect on the writing life and all it involves. Wickeds, does writing energize or exhaust you? Does it change with the phase of the project you are in? Is there a part of the writing process that you like best?
Edith: Writing first draft often energizes me. The start of the book is fun, the end is exciting – the middle not so much. But I know if I sit (and walk) with it, I’ll be able to move the story forward. What exhausts me is the promotional side of the writing life. I’ll look at another author’s meme or Instagram promotions, for example, and think, “Ack, I should probably do that, I should figure that out.” And then I don’t, for the most part. I never know how much promotion is too much and what is effective (yes, I do send direct email newsletters, said to have the biggest impact). But when I’m away from my work for a week or more and I’m dying to get back to it, like I was last week? I know I’m in the right career.
Liz: Right now, I’m exhausted at the thought of finishing my current book, but that’s more situational. First drafts are harder for me – I find it’s much easier to face whatever’s written and fix it, even if it’s terrible. Also, there’s my procrastination problem….but once I remind myself I’m blessed to be doing this, it all seems to shift and get back on track.
Sherry: I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I don’t think any part of the writing process exhausts me. Sometimes I’m afraid I’m not up to the task but that is a whole different thing. Writing is hard work but when it flows it’s amazing, when it doesn’t you just have to dig deep.
Barb: I’ve noticed with my current work-in-progress that writing dialog in the first draft flies. It really does energize me. On the other hand, I find it really hard to write when I am uncomfortable about my knowledge in an area. For example, I’ve written eight mystery novels, two novellas, and numerous short stories without ever shooting anyone. Now I have finally gone and done it, but I know so little about guns, ballistics reports, etc., etc., I am having to do a lot of research to get these scenes written. I always say it’s easier to tell a lie (i.e. make something up) when it has a foundation in truth. I’ll run these scenes by someone with expertise before I foist them on a unsuspecting public, but I have to get them written before I can even do that and it’s a slog for me.
Julie: I love the process of writing, but cranking out the first draft does exhaust me. I’m beginning to wonder if it’s because I try and write too much in one day. Lately I’ve been sprinting to finish a draft, and I’m dragging myself over the finish line. I need to learn patience with myself and the process, and to not work to the point of exhaustion.
Jessie: I am exhausted when I fail to follow the fun. When the deadlines are stacked too closely or the project is hitched up somewhere I feel stressed and unhappy and then I feel drained. But, like the others have mentioned, when the story is gathering speed and direction and is amassing into something I love and of which I am proud it is more exhilirating than anything else I experience!
Readers: Do you have a part of your life that energizes or exhausts you?
Love interacting with you all, but keeping up with email and ARCs while juggling an offline life is a struggle.
We love having you here. You are a busy woman!
Funny–I’m a dedicated pantser, so I seldom have a detailed plan when I start writing a first draft. But that doesn’t make me nervous. Quite the opposite: I trust my writer-brain to figure things out while I’m washing the dishes or something unrelated. Plot points sort of bubble up one at a time, with little “aha!” moments. But digging into the first big overhaul (revising the draft) is much more stressful.
Still, I find any aspect of writing less stressful than the rest of my life!
Excellent point! Fictional lives are so much easier to deal with.
No matter what part of the process I’m in, writing energizes me. I don’t feel quite right if I’m away from the story too long. First draft, revision, polish – doesn’t matter.
Except promotion. That’s exhausting. Actually, if I magically knew the PERFECT promotion that works every time, I probably wouldn’t feel the same, but what’s that saying about marketing? Only 15% works and we don’t know which 15%?
I agree — promotion can be exhausting!
I get energizes while preparing for some of out bucketlist trips that we have dreamed about for years. To be at the stage in life that we have the time and means (if we plan ahead and look for the best ways) to be able to actually start to mark them off our list is totally amazing. I can lose track of time or see how my ump is about to up and leave me while researching the best places to stay, what to see along the way and making list for the current trip we are planning. It’s a lot like books. You anticipate it’s release with great anticipation (planning and getting ready for the trip). Then you get to actually read it getting enthralled in the plot and characters (the actual time you are on the trip). Followed by being so happy you got to read it but at the same time a little let down knowing it’s over (when you arrive back home happy, exhausted and with fabulous memories). The good thing is that you can start looking forward to the next book whether it’s another part of this series or just another great book by an awesome author you adore (always the next trip to look forward to).
2clowns at arkansas dot net
That is a great comparison, Kay! I just finished a book yesterday and now have to wait a year for the next one.
Hmm, first drafts are usually painful for me, although I do feel energized when I get toward the end. Revisions generally come much easier. Marketing, on the other hand, is always exhausting!
I think it must be universally agreed that marketing/promotion is the most exhausting!
First of all. I love reading your stories!!! It’s so interesting to me!
I’m a quilter and I always get energized when I start on a quilt.I love making Quilts. But I’m my worst enemy, I always seem to second guess my work and that can be exhausting! But it all seems to work out in the end😀
Thank you, Sherry! Doing a quilt is daunting to me! There are so many things you must have to think through. Oh, but the results! I’m lucky my grandmother was a quilter so I have six beautiful quilts from her.
That is wonderful! Those are to be cherished forever ❤️
I’m impressed by all the work that goes into writing and promoting books. I wasn’t aware just how MUCH went into doing it all until I was introduced to this blog. Makes me a much for appreciative reader and a better critic because I more easily recognize when an extra effort is made by an author.
Not being a writer, I get my jollies from other things. I absolutely love doing yard work, but it can be exhausting, especially as I get older. But when I go inside and look out the window at my yard, all the pain and sweat are forgotten and I smile.
Thank you, Ginny! We are so glad you found us. Oh, yard work! It is exhausting but you are right about how rewarding it can be too!
I go through cycles with my reviews. Sometimes, I can’t wait to write one, and the next day getting the words down is such work. Reading or watching stuff rarely feels like work, however, even when my schedule is packed.
I’m energized when it’s flowing. I’m exhausted when it isn’t. Doesn’t matter what stage the project is in. I don’t want to call it “writer’s block” but this writer occasionally gets stumped when I can see something isn’t working but I’m not sure why, so there is quite a bit of staring out the window.
I don’t believe in writers block either. I play solitaire when I’m stumped, but limit how long I can play because that can be a rabbit hole!
Oh my gosh! Have you found pyramid solitaire! One time I played it until I won over 15,000 points. Took all afternoon!
WAY too addictive. I love it!
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