Embrace the Exhaustion if It Makes You a Better Writer
Podcast Episode Link: Click here.
Podcast Episode Transcript: Hi, genuine writers! This is Innovative Editing’s Jeannette DiLouie welcoming you to episode #35 of The Genuine Writer Podcast. We keep things short, sweet and to the point here so that you can learn what you need to learn and get back to writing already.
I know I’ve said that past episodes were going to be especially short and sweet. But this one is probably going to be the shortest one ever. So short that I’m not even going to make it sponsored by anything. I’m just that tired after helping babysit my two nieces this weekend while their parents were away on an anniversary trip.
Now, I love my nieces, aged 1 1/2 and almost four. In my opinion, they’re two of the cutest things on the planet, if not the cutest. I love that they call me “Aunt Gee.” I love when they run up to say hi to me. And I even love them when they – okay, just the almost-four-year-old – only lets me get two hours of sleep on Friday night and maybe four on Saturday.
That’s why I’m going to make this as brief as possible. Because I’m exhausted as I record this on Sunday night, and I’m still looking at a lengthy to-do list before I can go to bed.
Before I go any further, let me just say that I mean this next part in moderation. Being exhausted 24-7 isn’t healthy at all. You need to figure out how to give yourself a break and take care of yourself, getting the proper amount of rest and sleep and social interaction as well as things accomplished.
With that disclaimer said and done, being exhausted every once in a while isn’t necessarily a bad thing for fiction writers, who need to be able to describe a wide range of character emotions, both positive and negative.
No doubt, there will be moments when at least your protagonist will be physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually or some other-ally tired. Perhaps they’ll even be ready to give up altogether. And how are you, the writer, going to properly describe that if you don’t know what it’s like to be depleted to at least some degree or another?
Depending on the genre, you might never experience the actual situations that your characters do, where you’re hunted down, chasing criminals, hopping planets, buried alive, caught in an abusive cycle, dealing with dead people, trying to overthrow tyrants, etc. But that doesn’t mean you can’t write about them and write about them well if you only know a few things – one of them being the emotions involved in those situations: the wide range of necessary, intricate, complex expressions and reactions to and of being human.
So, essentially, embrace all the emotions and feelings you experience as they come – even the ones that have you dealing with a distraught three-year-old who misses her parents, hasn’t gotten enough sleep, and doesn’t know what to do with herself. Because, number one: You can channel all of that into some manuscript somehow someday… after you get some rest.
And number two: You really do love those little babies so much anyway.
Thanks as always for tuning into The Genuine Writer Podcast. It was great having you here as always. I’ll catch you again next time. And now I think I’m going to go throw my to-do list out the window and go to bed.