We can laugh at the stereotype of some 19th century writer catching his sleeves on fire as he burned the candle at both ends. But aren’t many of us doing the same thing, in a way? The array of new technologies for expressing ourselves can tempt us to burn our candles at both ends. Before you know it, the middle is gone too—emailed or twittered away before we even know we’ve hit the “send” button. But any writer who hopes to write more than one book (or live past 40) has to face the finite nature of her own energy.