How Input Affects Output

I felt it sneak around the edges of my concentrated efforts. My lashes blinked faster. My lids now fought when I struggled to lift them off my eyes. A light sheet of brain-fog settled over my mind.

Afternoon fatigue had arrived. And it threatened to keep me from writing the scene on the screen before me. How would I finish without falling asleep?

Too often, I fight a common battle when I finally get a few snippets of time to write. But instead of grabbing a caffeine loaded, sugared up, fattened calf kind of snack, I’ve found a few quick solutions that allow me to treat my body with the respect it needs to function at optimal efficiency.

1) Eat nutritious vegetables or fruit. In particular, I’ve found the following have fabulous energy boosting properties for my body chemistry. Literally within seconds, I can feel a renewed focus and am able to write well. My faves include, red, orange, or yellow peppers, V-8 juice, grapefruit, oranges, watermelon, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, cucumbers in vinegar, cantaloupe, and celery.

Fruits & Veggies Energize Writers

Fresh Veggies and Fruit Energize

2) Get out in the sun. A few minutes of vitamin D rich sunlight is just the ticket to get my blood pumping and my thoughts racing.

Vitamin D Wakes Writers Up

Sunlight – Natural Inspiration

3) Drink water. When writing, we often don’t want to interrupt our thoughts, so dehydration is a big problem for many writers. Most people assume they need caffeine when exhaustion strikes — in reality, dehydration is often the culprit behind your fatigue. Science shows that water wakes us up.

Hydration Hydrates our Brain Cells

Water Wakes Writers Up

4) Take a nap. Though I fight it, sometimes a ten minute nap works miracles. A few moments of shut-eye gets me going again. (I find I need to set the alarm on my phone, so I can actually nod off. Otherwise, my fear of over-sleeping keeps me from getting the rejuvenating rest I need).

Naps Help Writers

Nap Time for Writers

5) Go for a walk. I plan this powerful method of staying alert into my writing schedule. It’s part of the formula I follow to get words on the page. Having an intended break gives me something to look forward to and pushes me past the humps. A good walk gets my blood flowing, my muscles heated, my cells active, and my thoughts fired up.

Walking Wakes Writers Up

Walking Stirs Creativity

6) Take prayer and Bible reading breaks. A few minutes spent with the Master Author infuses me with energy and inspiration. Nothing like purpose to light me into action.

Prayer and the Bible Inspires Writing

Pure Inspiration

Before fatigue wraps itself around me like a constricting serpent around its prey, I need a plan to fight back. I find the list above gives me exactly the input I need to affect my output in positive ways.

Here are some other great tips to help you battle afternoon fatigue.

What ways do you battle exhaustion when it threatens to hinder your writing?

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20 thoughts on “How Input Affects Output

  1. Agreeing with BK…I always get up and fill my big water mug if I’m going muggy with tiredness. Also I think being as narrowly-focused as possible helps. I always have to save my most hands- or brain-heavy work for that afternoon time, because that’s when the baby and his brother are down for nap, so I know I don’t have the luxury of whining, “But I’m tiiiiiiired!”

    • One of the most challenging obstacles I face as a writer is fatigue. Most of my author friends say the same. But isn’t it interesting what getting up for a glass of water does? Hope you have a hydrated and productive day, Kathleen.

  2. Thank you for the insight into this area of our lives. Good points to live by and to be utilized in other areas as well as the writing realm. Thanks again!

    • I’m so glad these tips helped. And might I add, your handle, Full Measure of Joy, reminds me of the energizing benefits of laughter. Praying you spread plenty of energy today. 🙂

  3. Even agents suffer from afternoon fatigue, Anita. Yep, we’re human. I forgot to fill my water bottle this morning, so after posting my comment, I’m headed for the kitchen. AND the next time I go to the store, I’m putting V-8 juice on my list. I love the stuff but never think about buying it. 😉

  4. Great post, Anita! I’ll say “Amen” to all of your suggestions. But sometime I forget to drink water, until the brain fog, fatigue, and headache sets in. So, I know I need to be a little more proactive in these healthy nutritional habits, before I crash and burn again.

  5. What a great post. All of this is so true, yet simple to do. Thanks for the reminders.

  6. Thanks, Anita, for such great tips on how to take care of ourselves. I’ve noticed that hydration is especially important. It’s easy to substitute caffeine for water.

  7. Pingback: Inspired writing can be flawless and flowing. « Writers Must Write.

  8. Wonderful reminders, Anita, to keep the creative juices flowing along with the water!

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