Energy usage: to write or not to be able to write

I have to recognize that if I piss away my time, good or bad, the energy to do what I claim to want to do – write – isn’t there when I need it.


Always I come to the writing time as the energy is fading. I can’t get more until I take a nap. And most days I can’t get more after midafternoon, regardless of what I do (the naps then are just not to feel so exhausted).

I can bull through doing many things if I have to.

Writing is not one of them. It is a serious effort for me to focus on the screen or the printed words, to think about the structure and where I am in it, to rearrange the words on rewriting (deck chairs on Titanic comes to mind), to make choices about flow and dialogue, to decide if the plot is working – in short, everything about writing.

This is my reality: I have control of very little. Much needs to be done, and done by me to keep this family running, and to give me some kind of social life to function with. But it all takes energy – from the writing.

I need all these things, but I rarely need them first. The longer I keep pitying myself because I don’t FEEL like writing, or tell myself ‘just a few posts while I’m eating,’ or ‘I can do it tonight,’ the longer I don’t get what I need.

Maybe it’s the diet – and it will be easier to write once I’m not half-starved all the time. Maybe it’s not. In any case, it is the present reality, and I’m stuck with it.

I have only two choices: do writing first – or futz around.

I have two consequences: MAYBE get some writing done – or not.

It IS that stark. And the conditional is very real: maybe. No guarantee.

The guarantee is that, if I don’t do writing FIRST, there will be no writing. NO WRITING. The tiny bit I sometimes get done is like watering the trees just a bit – as Carol said, better not to do it at all, because it promotes the wrong kind of roots.

God gave me a brain: even I can see where the choice must be.

And get to bed at a reasonable hour so I can even make the choices which lead to the POSSIBILITY of writing.

And if I don’t, get back to bed as soon as, like today, it is apparent that I can’t choose Freedom and WRITE fiction.

I am a big girl. I have been pretending that just a little time off point is allowed. It isn’t. I can’t have ‘just a little internet’ – not on a continuing basis. I can’t have ‘just a little Mail’ – or ‘just a little Scrivener class’. Or even ‘just a little talk on the phone.’

I might as well admit that I have no willpower – and allow NO exclusions – not even to check the mail – until I have decided I’m done for the day or will never be able to do any that day or have to go somewhere. Punto. Period. Return.

I don’t like it. It may not even be CFS. But it is reality – and spitting in the face of reality is dumb.

He dicho. I have spoken.

Now I’m going off to take the next nap – and hope it is long enough.

There will be no more writing today.

The possibility has been wasted, like water poured on desert sand.


4 thoughts on “Energy usage: to write or not to be able to write

  1. Alice Audrey

    Writing is hard. Even the geniuses for whom it is natural have to struggle with it now and then. Or so I hear, anyway. I’m very, very lucky that I have some time right now that I can devote to it.

    I find that I have to muscle through it or it won’t happen at all. Once I can get the spring flowing, then it’s easy. But getting myself started is always, always hard.


    1. ABE Post author

      ” I have some time right now that I can devote to it”

      Make promises to someone – do whatever works for you – but don’t let that time slip away! Shall I nag?


  2. ABE Post author

    I’m probably an odd duck, but, as delighted as I am with approval (shameless approval hound) – for which reading is enough, a Like is great, and Comments are Christmas presents, what I really seem to have started this whole process for is to hear if something BOTHERS a reader.

    Typo. Question that points out I have the wrong day. Plot hole. Reaction to a character.

    Those are the things I can’t see because I am too close to (and enthralled by, sometimes) my own words. And those are exactly the kind of things someone absolutely new to a piece of writing notices. “Something is off.”

    Even – or especially – when a quick re-reading of the text clears up the feeling.

    Because it OFTEN means that I didn’t make something smooth. Or clear. Or consistent. If you missed it the first pass, it MAY be nothing, but it more likely means another reader might stumble at the same place.

    It’s odd – but it works.

    I don’t usually change something because one person stumbled over it, or didn’t get a reference, or whatever – we’re all different in what we carry in our mental attics and in our tastes – but I do check it out, and fix the problem if 1) several people note it (no matter how much I love the original version), or, as happened recently (thanks, Alice!), it connected with a doubt I had of my own about how exactly to do something.

    When you have the time and inclination to comment, that’s what goes on in my head – and I really like it.

    Be well – hope you catch up on life – I know that feeling very well.


  3. jackiewriting

    I know exactly what you mean, and it is with anything in life – if I do THIS, I can’t do THAT.. and that includes writing, and reading. I feel bad because I can’t always keep up with blogs I follow, such as yours (iI’m now about to read the 3rd instalment of your wonderful story), it’s just a mater of reading, right? Making a comment, right? WRONG. As I’m reading posts, my mind is coming up with great responses, but by the time I get to the end and the comment box, I’ve usually completely forgotten what I wanted to say. So if you get just a ‘like’ or a short comment, I’m probably trying to say “Wow! Blah blah blah!” but I can’t articulate it..



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