Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Writing and Fatigue

with 10 comments

Folks, the last week or so, I’ve been battling some intense frustration when it comes to writing.


Mostly, it’s because of being intensely tired. (Or fatigued, as it were.) I put a lot into my music, both during practice and at concerts, and perhaps during the summer it takes a bit more out of me than it used to.

(Yeah, this is as close as you’re going to get to the fact that I know I’m getting a wee bit older. But never old — that’s not happening.)

See, life is all about choices. I could’ve said, back in 2011, that I did not want to put out the energy to play again, but what sense would that have made? (It would invalidate my years of education, for one…and waste my talents for another. Again, not happening.) But I made that choice, to play again, and to use my talents and education to the fullest extent of which I’m capable…which means I don’t have as much energy available for everything else.

And life doesn’t stop. It never, ever stops…I have a lot of mundane things to do, like grocery shopping, errand-running, and so forth, plus a good amount of editing (as that, for all practical purposes, is my “day job”), and I’m glad I’m able to do all of those things, too.

But again, see what I said about “choices.”

Plus, I’m aware that right now, I seem to be in a fallow period when it comes to writing, most particularly when it comes to writing fiction. That doesn’t mean I’m going to stop trying. But it means that maybe, if I stop pressing, I’ll do a little better…if it feels less like sheer bloody-minded pushing boulders up the hill (like Sisyphus?), maybe I’ll be able to do more.

Creativity is one of the hardest things to harness, sometimes…at least for me. Especially when I’m overtired, and been pressing too hard for weeks, and the weather is too hot and humid to be borne, perhaps the best thing to do is rest.

But I’m not good at resting. I want to be up and doing. Resting feels like surrender.

It’s not, though. It’s actually playing it smart.

Anyway, I’m sure I’m not the only one who gets into fallow periods and wonders what on Earth will get me out of it. What gets you out of these ruts? Are you someone who believes firmly in PBICAT? (Put butt in chair and type?) Or do you think sometimes you just need R&R, as much as you can stand that’s in your price range, to recharge your batteries?

Whichever it is, let me know in the comments! (Maybe we can find some new strategies in how to combat this. Who knows?)

Written by Barb Caffrey

July 21, 2017 at 6:52 pm

10 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. It’s hard, isn’t it? I’m in the exact same spot – and I haven’t even got the excuse of practising music because that’s another thing I’ve let slide. With the writing, I try putting butt in chair first – even if I manage one sentence it’s better than nothing – but if I try and press on and it’s just not happening, I leave it. Often, the next sentence comes when I’m doing something else or just relaxing.


    July 22, 2017 at 7:22 am

    • I’m sorry to hear that, Annabelle. I would rather you were writing up a storm. 🙂

      But yeah, all we can do is ride this out, and know that we have written before and will write again. Putting pressure on ourselves does not work. (As my late husband put it, “You are a writer even if you never write another word.” As he was a Zen Buddhist, his point was that I always wrote, would write as soon as I took the pressure off myself…and I’m sure you will, too.)

      Barb Caffrey

      July 22, 2017 at 6:49 pm

  2. I’m sorry to hear that you’re fatigued and having a hard time writing. I agree that life is about choices and that sometimes it’s better to just rest. Hope you feel better soon. ❤️

    I’m feeling fatigued myself lately (due to a minor medical reason but that’s another story 😅), and I’m just taking it a day at a time. I usually don’t push myself writing, because nothing comes out even if I do and the time is better spent resting and enjoying myself until I’m fresh again for words to flow. 😀


    July 23, 2017 at 1:09 am

    • Sometimes, you just have to rest. If you are dealing with medical issues, I’d say that is imperative…take care, and feel better! *hugs*

      Barb Caffrey

      July 23, 2017 at 4:50 pm

  3. Choices! Why is it so difficult to always choose☺️everytime I open my laptop for writing… It’s so tough to focus because so many other things to take care of and yes the fatigue!!

    Untraveled Routes

    July 23, 2017 at 11:30 pm

  4. Whenever I talk to you ma’am you are always so enthusiastic about your work, the music and the writing. It inspires me so much. It takes courage to love something so much, like you love your work. I’m so Inspired by you ♡


    July 26, 2017 at 1:06 am

    • Thank you, dear. 🙂 I enjoy talking with you as well.

      Maybe fatigue is just part of living?

      Barb Caffrey

      July 26, 2017 at 10:00 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: