Fatigue and Creating

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black and white photo of a porch light ona rock wallI have been talking a lot about making your creativity a priority and planning for it and so on. But…

Do you create when you’re tired? How?

That depends.

It depends on you and what you can handle.

And, to be honest, it will vary. There will be times when you can create while you’re exhausted and there will be times when you just can’t. There are times when I can create when I’m overly tired and times when I can’t.

Here’s the key: Listen to yourself.

You will know when you can keep going and when you need to rest. If you find yourself trying to write and you’re just watching the cursor blink, shut it down and get some sleep. If you keep making mistakes on basic knitting or crochet stitches/patterns, it’s time to put it down and take care of yourself.

Here’s the thing…

It might not even be physical fatigue that is interfering with your ability to create. It might be mental or emotional. It’s still an indicator that you MUST take care of yourself. Maybe even more than physical.

I can’t — and won’t try — to tell you how to take care of yourself. Everyone has somewhat different self-care methods. I like to get my nails done or just veg and watch TV or YouTube videos. If my issue is related to writing, I may knit or crochet or play with stamps or alcohol inks. I also like to have a cup of hot tea when the weather is chilly.

Your favorite ways might be different. Find out what they are. Remember them. Use them when you feel “off” or when you feel any kind of fatigue.

In the meantime, happy creating!

8 thought on “Fatigue and Creating”

  1. Barbara Radisalvjeivc

    I’m learning to listen to myself like this. Some nights I just shut down and go to bed. Other nights I am so caught up in writing I get to bed way to late and then can’t get sleepy. Creating when I’m on roll stimulates me and I find it hard to settle down — even with herbal tea and natural sleep supplements.

    1. jencnipps Post author

      I totally relate to being caught up in writing. A couple years ago, I discovered that if I want to sleep, I can’t write about 30 minutes before bedtime, preferably an hour. But…. who can stop when things are on a roll? Not me! So I tend to have a lot of sleepless nights when either characters are walking around inside my head or I’m thinking of ideas for the next (or current) nonfiction project.

    1. jencnipps Post author

      It is good to know I’m not off-base. I mainly just spoke of what works for me and try to emphasize that what works for someone else might be different, but it all boils down to we need to take care of ourselves. On that note, you take care of you. 🙂 And thank you for the comment.

  2. Kelly

    I so agree. There are days when I feel like I should keep going, finish the task list but I simply can’t do another thing. Learning to listen to your body is one thing… learning that it’s OKAY to listen sometimes is even harder. Creative Blessings

    1. jencnipps Post author

      That’s a good point. I don’t know where or why people get the idea that listening to themselves is a bad thing, but it’s something that needs to be done away with. If you don’t take care of yourself, who will?


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