Essays, Misc

Surviving Writing Fatigue–a Musical Intervention

Well, I know I said I was taking a break from blogging and writing but…it’s in my blood, what can I say? I just can’t help it, lol Plus, though I love interviewing and hosting other bloggers, I miss chatting you all up personally, so I thought I’d check in and say “Hi!”

How are you all? The holiday season is here and, on my end, things are heating up like crazy. Life is hectic! I keep wanting to write but by the time I get to it at the end of the day, fatigue settles so intensely that motivation, stamina and concentration just evaporate. Which leads to me wavering between, “Maybe I just need to take a real break and rest up” to “No way! The ideas are there! The drive is there! I just have to man-up and push through!” Ah, what’s the saying? The spirit is willing but the body is weak? Sure right!



Anyhow, I decided to take the bull by the horns. I’ve been struggling to get going on my latest manuscript, book 3 of my trilogy. There are a few things which make this project so hard. 1) This is my first trilogy, so finding my way through the process is a lot of trial and error and, right now, it feels like mostly error,  2) writing a book is an extremely time consuming and intensive project–I get lost in it and sometimes it’s to the detriment of the things and people around me. Making the choice to enter that ‘space’ again is not easy, 3) writing a book is just damn hard. Each time I complete a project, I’m elated as well as exhausted mentally and emotionally. It’s hard to go back there, you know?

So you’re saying, “Giiirrrrl, the solution is simple. Just take a break, already!” Ha! Didn’t I already say that writing is in my blood, lol I’m like a moth drawn to the flame.


I’m doomed.

Anyhow, as I said, I took the bull by the horns and sat down to start revising a chapter of book 3, only this time I did something I haven’t needed to do for a while: I put on the headphones and listened to some tunes. My thinking was that if my rational brain–the part that complains of being tired or that complains about bad writing or how I’ll never get this manuscript together–is drowned out by music or at  least distracted by it, then maybe I can actually get some writing done. And it worked. Thank you The Cure,  Guns and Roses and company (for some reason, music from the 90’s just did it for me tonight). I didn’t write a massive amount, but the ideas were rolling, the characters were defining themselves, the chapter was improved overall. And I feel encouraged. That’s progress.


Maybe I’m only half-doomed.

How about you all? How does music help you? How do you get over writing fatigue? 


18 thoughts on “Surviving Writing Fatigue–a Musical Intervention

  1. Oh, I so related to this post, Dyane. I love music, hate headphones, and usually don’t play music while I’m writing. However, there are many pieces of music that inspire me to write when I hear them. When I’m really tired and haven’t written yet today, I used to give up on the idea and just go to bed, but, since doing NaNoWriMo, I’ve found that I push through and start writing. Before too long, I get into the flow and get a reasonable amount written. Then I feel soooo good 🙂
    Happy listening and happy writing, Dyane. X


    1. Thanks, Christine. 🙂 It’s a process isn’t it? Vacation is coming up so I hope to get some rest and then be able to get back into the swing of things, proper. Here’s hoping! And I’m glad you found NaNo helping. That’s great!


  2. Dyane,

    I listen to music when I write, for the same reasons you mentioned. It keeps my mind busy while hte creative part of me (my emotions) take over and allow me to write. I also like the feel of a breeze against my skin, depending on what mood I’m in. That also allows me to think because of the humming noise from the fan. I’m very glad you found your way of writing. Although we do need to take time to breathe and relax from our work, it’s important to feed your craving if you have it. Listen to your body. If it’s dying to write and you feel stuck, write anything at all. You’re doing great and I’m very proud of you. Keep going. Before you know it, you will be finished with the Trilogy and wondering what adventure awaits you next. 😉


  3. Dyane I totally agree I feel like I have no time to write lately! However I understand about how music pumps you up to give you needed stamina to push through the exhaustion and rise above to keep writing. Nineties rock and eighties rock work best for me because it harkens to a simpler time in your life and just makes you feel good! I have certain songs on my playlist that I blast just to feel good and rev up those creative juices! Good luck with your latest book endeavor. In the end you’ll pull through! We writers always do! 🙂


    1. Hi! Oh, sounds like you totally understand. 🙂 I love music from that era–so raw and emotional and yes, it brings back a ton of memories.

      Thank you, I’ll keep pushing on. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. 🙂 Best of luck to you as well.


  4. Sting, Tchaikovsky and the Lord of the Rings soundtrack, each of which deliver, in order, intelligent and stimulating lyrics, mental calm and focus, and the inspiring effects of great storytelling. But it doesn’t take long before I have to turn it off to do some actual work!


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