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Writing Through Tiredness
James Looking Tired

My whole life I have had to battle the demons of sleeplessness. In fact, one of my earliest memories is of regularly having trouble with sleep. Now, though, I can add the pressures of parenthood and the need to work and a wife that awakes for work at the ghastly hour of 5 am and the need for me to begin work before the kids are awake and then prepare them for school and the bus and then get back to work. By the end of the week I am exhausted and I regularly lose my evening hours to simply being too tired to think let alone create a well crafted piece of fiction or creative nonfiction, which I find to be eminently frustrating as I feel that I have so many stories that I need to tell.

I can add to this the fact that I am a cancer survivor (two plus years since diagnosis) and though I have a very good prognosis, I always feel as if my time is limited. How can I possibly get all of the work out of me that I feel is waiting just under the surface in time when I am so tired?

I think this is a common theme for many writers in the 35 to 55 zone. Life intrudes on our attempts to replicate it in the written word making it difficult to get it all out on the page in a satisfying and meaningful way.

What's the answer? (Excuse me I have to go prod the three young ones to get ready for the bus--why is it that even though the routine remains the same for months they act as if this is the first time they have ever had to get up and get ready for school?).

Anyway, so to my point, how are we to battle the eternal feeling of being too tired to put our best efforts in? My answer to date: I don't know.

There are simply times when I feel as if I am just too tired to be able to put anything on the page in a coherent fashion, but I always have to remind myself that it is okay to write something that may not be my best effort. That's what rewriting and revisions are for anyway. The important thing is that like a runner running through a cramp, I have to write through tiredness. I have to keep the ball moving forward anyway because it is the only way to keep me from lying awake each night feeling frustrated that I didn't manage to move the ball forward just a little bit.