Something I rarely hear writers talk about: writing takes a lot of energy.
Is it just me, or is this something you don't hear much about either?
And I don't just mean physically, though it can be a little draining to hunch over a keyboard for hours on end. But I've done lots of things that were physcially more demanding. Here, though, the sort of energy I'm thinking about is really the mental and emotional sort. Writing sucks up this energy more than most things, I think.
It requires a lot just to start writing, to create something, to face that blank page. I think of it as a sort of metaphysical momentum - stories need a certain amount of energy to force themselves through you onto the page.
It takes energy to start something, to continue it, to finish it. It's a personal sort of energy, a well that endlessly varies in depth. Sometimes you have a lot, sometimes less so. Part of it, I think, is the simple act of creation. Nothing comes from nothing. Every idea needs a spark of energy to drive it, to allow it to fulfill itself. But more than that there's an investment... you put some of yourself in a story, something to make it real. It takes energy to invest yourself in a character, to see through their eyes and feel what they feel. And feeling what they feel... it's not unlike feeling a shadow of the real thing, an emotional ghost that haunts you and eats up a bit of your own life.
It's rare to have an endless capacity to write. Sometimes, oh so rarely, you might have the capacity to write for a day, ignorant of hunger and thirst. Usually it will be for a few hours, or a single one. Perhaps only minutes. Or perhaps it's just a second or two before your fingers are tired and the words start limping.
There's something draining about writing... and some of this mental and emotional energy is used for other things, and used up by them. How do you navigate that?
I've started a revision that's been requested of me, and yet I have a lot of drains going on right now. Certain things, whether good or bad, pull the energy out of you, always demanding a little more. So if you had an umpteenth revision on a book to do, and were low on that necessary energy, what would you do? What are some of the things that get you jazzed for writing, that help re-stock that strange well of Liquid Muse? Nuclear power, or clean hybrid energy, or solar... heck, I'd take some dirty coal energy right now and screw the environment. (Not really, though, with the coal, unless it's for a barbecue...)
I need some of this...