Wednesday, November 4, 2015

IWSG- Try a Little Tenderness

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group

Ooh, she may be weary, young girls they do get weary…

I’m dating myself with a song reference from Three Dog Night. It was a big hit in 1969, and is actually on my “car” playlist. Is it because I get weary? Probably.

There’s a good kind of weary you get when you play hard, or even work hard at something you enjoy. It’s the kind of weary that makes you happy and grateful. You fall into bed at the end of the day with a smile on your face.

But there’s a different kind of weary, the kind you get when confronted by the worst of life. Funerals, divorce, illness, friendships gone awry, betrayal. There’s not a lot to cure that kind of weary, only time.

We’ve all been on both sides and when bad things happen, and we’re searching for answers, I think we forgot one important thing. We forget to be kind to ourselves. Instead, we blame ourselves and try to push through being weary to do more.

It’s nearly impossible to write your best prose when weariness sets in. Sure, some people can really tap into how bad they feel and spew it all over the page. It’s not something I like to read so I don’t do it. If I’m exhausted, I try a little tenderness on myself.

I’m not afraid to turn off the computer and rest. When I need it, I take time to get my head back on straight. I’ve learned that if I want to write a good story, I’ve got to take care of myself. And I learned it the hard way when my husband had cancer, so I’m not just pontificating.

It’s important to me to do the best I can on each story. I’ve found that if I stay tapped in to how I’m feeling, I write better. I plot better. I set the scene better. It really pains me to spend an evening writing only to have to go back the next night and delete what I wrote. It doesn’t happen often because I’ve learned an important truth - weary doesn’t make for a good writer.



  1. Thanks! I needed to hear someone say this out loud. Maybe it'll stop me feeling so guilty for taking time off from my writing.

  2. I think writing through tough times can help, but it's often a different kind of writing than what you do in your daily life. If you have something you're supposed to be working on and all you can think about is something that's bothering you, sometimes writing that out can help you heal and get back to the work you should be doing. Sometimes you just need to step away and take a break, though.

  3. That's so true. We need to recognize true weariness and take time to rest. Our writing is better for it, and our lives are better for it.

  4. Sometimes that's the best idea. When we're drained and beat up, we aren't going to produce anything worthwhile. Time to take it easy on ourselves.