Where’s my writing stamina gone?

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Back in 2008 when I wrote the first draft of my first rom com novel HEAVEN CAN WAIT I had amazing writing stamina. I bashed out nearly 2,000 words a night for 3 months and three weeks and then – ta daaaah! Finished.

These days I struggle to read more than 10 pages of a book before I feel like a nap and writing isn’t any easier. I don’t know if it’s the day job, the toddler, the heat or the fact I’m approaching a milestone birthday but I just don’t have the writing energy reserves I used to have. The days of writing from 10pm to 3am aren’t so much ‘long gone’ as ‘dressed up in long johns and snuggled up in bed with me at 9.30pm’.

The reason I’m sharing this with you is because, with the toddler napping, I thought I’d use the time productively and write my story for submission to the Crime Writers Association anthology. After 900 words I felt my energy levels fade and my writing legs gave up on me. I wanted to nap, not write (but there’s only half an hour before my son wakes up so I thought I’d write this blog post instead).

With ‘to do’ lists scattered around the house and barely any time to complete them I NEED to improve my writing stamina or I’m going to seriously fall behind. So what’s the answer? Ginseng? Lucosade? (More) chocolate? Answers on a postcard please. Or in my comments box…

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About C.L. Taylor

THE ESCAPE, C.L. Taylor's fourth psychological thriller, will be published on 23rd March 2017.
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8 Responses to Where’s my writing stamina gone?

  1. Bernadette says:

    If you get an answer, will you let me know too?
    I also wrote my first (unpublished) novel over a summer at about the same rate as you and couldn’t get anywhere near that now. Maybe I just haven’t found an idea I love enough to bother.
    But I don’t have a full-time job, or a toddler, so have no excuses other than getting old – whereas you have plenty of reasons for being tired – and it is very hot!!
    So don’t be too hard on yourself. I am constantly amazed at how much you achieve!

  2. You probably need to build your stamina back up slowly, by training yourself. Write for half an hour every day for a while. Then 35 minutes, then 40…

  3. cltaylorauthor says:

    Bernadette – maybe it’s the novelty of writing a complete novel for the first time that made us write so quickly? Thank you for you kind words about how much I get done, it never feels like enough!

    Captain – that’s not a bad idea. Time for me to invest in a egg timer (app) I think. Thanks!

  4. Mama J says:

    Chocolate. The answer to everything is chocolate. And if it doesn’t work, eat more until it does.

  5. cltaylorauthor says:

    Mama J – the trouble with chocolate is that it adds to my writer’s arse. That’s another issue I’ve got!

  6. I’m completely with you – it seems harder and harder to find the time when I am not interrupted or awake enough to write anything of any sense! Chocolate or biscuits as a motivational tool has to be the way forward. Perhaps I should have New (School) Year Resolutions?

  7. Catharine – I like the idea but the other area of my life I’m struggling with, stamina wise, is losing weight! Maybe I should write on a treadmill?!

  8. I did hear, once, of a treadmill that had a laptop on it, so you could write whilst you ran. I suspect (being as uncoordinated as I am) I would therefore fail at both writing and running.

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