My wife, Tracy, asked why writing is so exhausting for me. Here’s the answer:
My parents are beaten, pulled from our house, and kidnapped as I cower in my bedroom.
I tremble in fear, trapped inside a secret place, while men with guns hunt me down.
I drive a truck through a garage door and cringe as the metal scrapes over the top of my vehicle.
My jet boat near-capsizes while bullets whip by my head.
My mother pulls my sister and I from the house as my father thrashes about on another drunken rampage.
I meet the boy I once bullied, on his terms now, and survive his wrath and the guilt I endure for what I have done to him.
I cling to a cliff-edge frozen and alone, and fully aware I’m about to plunge to my death, let go.
I awake, trapped inside a coffin, and scream in anguish for the last time.
A creature clamps its jaws into my head, its saliva runs down my face, I gag on my puke, and I’m too terrified to consider whether I’ll make it.
My mother collapses and draws in her last breath, and I cry in anguish.
I fall in love for the first time.
I grieve for all I have lost.
I wonder for all I have accomplished.
I feel every emotion my characters feel. I live every moment they live.
I’m smug with pride
I weep with pain
I tremble in fear
I laugh with joy
I suffer remorse
I die in anguish
And this all in one day.
So yes, writing exhausts me. And when my readers feel the pride, pain, fear, joy, remorse, anguish, and love I feel when I write, I have met my goal as a writer.