What is writing energy?

Our writing energy is essentially our motivation for writing. It’s the thing that makes us feel if I don’t get these words down now, I’ll explode! It’s inspiration, and sometimes it really is magical.

When it appears out of thin air, you can’t ignore it, and you’ll find whatever time you have to jot down the things coming to you. You’ll be able to do it in the middle of an average afternoon with your kids — chaos ensuing around you — and yet you’ve been gifted with some divine focus to type away at your phone or in a notebook or some scratch piece of paper on the kitchen counter. You’ll be able to do it in the middle of the night long after everyone in the house is asleep and usually you’d be too tired to know what your name is much less craft the ideas or plot coming to you. In these rare but glorious circumstances, it can feel like you’re actually possessed.

But this kind of writing energy doesn’t have to be a part of your writing history or future. Writing energy also comes from charged emotions and experiences of grief, hurt, joy, confusion, God, even from the effects of abuse. This energy is often the therapeutic and cathartic kind of writing. It can fuel some of the most impactful and life-changing writing for both the author and the reader.

It often emerges in us in specific times of life. Young children have a wealth of the purest kind of writing energy even before they have learnt to read or spell, coming up with songs, stories, or imaginary people. Amazing we have our phones with us all the time nowadays so we as parents can record these things in candid moments as our little ones can’t write them down yet. (I actually made a point to write down a song my daughter has been singing since she was three, because I loved it so much.) Teenagers find writing energy flowing freely out of angst and that first big transitional time of life. Just before or after having a baby, many people feel a new energy rise up to write, and in seasons of mental instability, there is often a beautiful creative energy released. These moments of writing energy are triggered chemically and hormonally within our biology. Fascinating, eh?

But this creativity can take yet another form. We can also manifest it ourselves by setting up a routine or rhythm that creates the space for words to come. This is potentially the hardest way for us to access writing energy as it requires discipline and focus. (I’m raising my hand here!)

Writing energy isn’t just something that we expend. It actually refuels us and gives us life. It’s like an extrovert who benefits emotionally from giving their time to be around people. We receive whilst we give.

That’s from where we should write. That’s where I want to help you get.

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