Today I spent basically 7 hours at the computer wrestling with a script. I took breaks to make tea, visit the bathroom to unload the tea, pace around the house, but mostly I was at my desk thinking and typing. Where does this scene really go? Would it work better earlier? Does this word really convey what I want to say? If I can tighten this line I’ll lose a widow. Is it clear how the protagonist is feeling from this dialog? In short decisions. Hundreds of them. Some large and some so small I might not even be aware I was making a decision.
I had a riding lesson this afternoon so I left the computer, changed, went to the barn, and rode horribly. I was as exhausted as if I’d been breaking rocks for the past many hours. I apologized to my coach, and she said — “Of course you’re tired. You’re suffering from decision fatigue. Apparently this is a real thing. That when you make a lot of decisions over many hours, or in a very tight time crunch it is not only mentally tiring it is physically tiring as well. Here is a link to the article in the N.Y. Times. Decision Fatigue
It made me feel a bit better about riding like an amateur, and it made me wonder how I might combat the phenomenon. I would love to work more tonight, but I simply can’t. Truthfully I don’t have enough energy to think of something to eat for dinner much less prepare it, and the thought of driving into town to a restaurant is even more exhausting. It reminded me yet again — writing is hard work.