I’ll be the first to tell you that after a long day of work, the last thing I want to do is sit down and write. Thankfully I’ve figured out how to have energy to write no matter the situation.
As much as non-writers might think writing is so easy they could do it in their sleep (PAH-LEASE), it’s actually really hard and pretty tiring.
No, typing at the keys isn’t all that difficult and your finger exhaustion doesn’t often make you lose energy, but your brain is working an awful lot to think up those words. You’re basically projecting an image in your brain onto your computer screen in word-form.
That shit is intense and exhausting.
And if you’ve already worked a full day (bonus exhaustion points if your job involves writing and typing all day), you’ll almost never have all the energy needed to sit down and write. You’ll probably crawl across the threshold of your home and collapse on the couch in a big pile of “meh.”
But that means your book will probably never get done. Or it’ll take forever, at least.
So how do you figure out how to have energy to write after such a long day?
As a freelance writer who spends all day typing and writing, I have a few tips for you.
1. Caffeine is your best friend
Coffee, coffee, and more coffee.
Now, if you’re like me and struggle with anxiety, coffee might not be the best idea for you. It could make it worse, like it does for me.
But if you can take smaller doses of caffeine, have some tea! I don’t really suggest soda because that shit is like poison but hey! Do you.
I think as writers, y’all know what caffeine does for you by now. It can help wake you up a bit if you’re actually just very sleepy, not to mention the writing idea superpowers it gives you once it hits your system.
2. Think about medication if you have a mental illness
I don’t want to speak too early on this but I recently went on some medication for anxiety and depression and HOLY FUCKING SHIT has it helped me immensely. It’s only been a few weeks, so I can’t speak to the full effects just yet but I have so much more energy.
It’s surprising how much mental illness can take out of you. I always wanted to “self-manage” it and finally decided that, for my own well-being, I needed some help.
And it has been more than helpful already. I have more energy, feel more alert, can concentrate so much better, and just feel good.
Even after a full day of work, the desire to sit down and write is SO STRONG.
Since many mental illnesses can cause excessive exhaustion, it might be a good idea to think about and talk to someone about getting medicated so it can help you have energy to write.
Obviously, don’t just take my word for it. Talk to your doctor and figure out what’s wrong and what you can do to get help.
3. Give yourself a mental break after work
It’s really hard to go straight from work to writing. You just got done working your brain all damn day. You kind of need a break, you know?
So take an hour to yourself to do something that doesn’t require much thinking. Just remember that if you “break” for too long, it’ll be even harder to get up and start working. Set a timer for yourself, relax, and then commit to getting up and going to work.
4. Get some fresh air
I don’t know about you, but taking a short walk with my dog always gives me more energy. It probably has something sciency to do with the sun and making you feel awake, but I don’t really care about the details.
If you’re feeling really sleepy after work, take a quick walk around the block. And when you come inside, get straigh to work. Don’t just lay down on the couch and complain about still being tired 10 minutes later.
5. Don’t eat a bunch of junk right after work
When you’re full of crap, you’ll feel like crap. Downing a bunch of junk food right before you want to sit down to write will only result in you being ridiculously sleepy.
You’re just not helping yourself when you do this. I get that work was probably stressful and all you want is a nice, large helping of something to satiate your cravings, but if you really want to have energy to write, opt for something smaller and lighter.
6. Mind over matter, baby
You’re exhausted. You don’t want to type. You probably want to lay down and let your brain do nothing but veg. I get it. I’ve been there many times before.
But none of those things gets your book written for you. The only thing that’ll do that is you. Sometimes you just have to push past the exhaustion and essentially make your own energy.
So get off your ass and just make yourself do it. The first half hour will always be the hardest but the deeper you get into writing your story, the easier it’ll be and the better you’ll feel.
7. Find some inspiration
Many times, all we really need is a little inspiration to give us the energy we need to get some shit done. The more eager you are to get your story out, the more likely you’ll be able to muster the energy to get some writing done.
So take some time to go through your outline, read, or look at pictures online that remind you of your story. But don’t spend all your writing time doing these things because it’ll just be a waste.
The point is to find that inspiration that can help you feel motivated despite your exhaustion.
The main idea here is to figure out what gives you energy and do that right before writing. Learning how to have energy to write after such a long day is more about knowing yourself and figuring out how to prevent it in the first place.