Good morning, everyone!
This post is a week overdue thanks to internet malfunction. But it’s fixed now! Hopefully. So here we go!
So today I want to talk about burnout, how to avoid it, and how to fix it.
I suffered terribly from burnout after the holidays. I didn’t even have time to write, I was so busy running around from one event to the next, and spending time with my family of course. But after all the chaos, I tried to write. I really really tried. And I hated every word I typed so much, I just wanted to give up on the entire project.
Luckily, I have an awesome husband who had something encouraging to say. “Everyone has bad days.” And he’s absolutely right. So I stopped banging my head on the keyboard and took a break from writing for a few days. Eventually, I came back to it, scrapped the horrible 500 words I’d written (because I wanted to take the story on a different path,) and since then, I’ve added another ~8000 words to the manuscript.
My point is, sometimes we hit a rough patch on our creative endeavors. And instead of making things worse by trying to squeeze every last drop of creativity out of us, sometimes it’s best to take a break and refill your creative well. What rejuvenates you? Reading? Sleeping? Painting? Exercising? A night out? A night in? Whatever it is, do it! Word count goals aside. A day or two or three (or how ever many you need) spent refilling your creative well will do more good than trying to write when you’re suffering from burnout.
How do you avoid burnout? Set reasonable goals. Reduce the stress in your life (if that’s even possible). Keep your life balanced—make sure you’re getting enough sleep, exercise, food, etc. Know your limits and plan accordingly.
Burnout isn’t always avoidable. Life happens, and that’s okay. Take the time off you need to recover. Do things that you enjoy—hobbies, READING (especially for you writers!), spending time with family, catching up on sleep, etc. Or any of the things I listed above.
Having a supportive person in you life who understands what you’re going through is helpful, too. It can be anyone! A spouse, a friend, a roommate, a family member, a writing partner, a cat. Whoever that person is, don’t be afraid to confide in them. They can actually help!
At the end of the day, do what’s best for you, your health (mental and physical,) and your future. I want you to succeed! But I don’t want you to fry your brain and totally deplete yourself in the process. It’s not always easy to avoid that, especially considering most of us write in our very limited spare time, but you’ll make more progress giving yourself the time you need to recover from burnout than trying to force yourself to write when you’re suffering from an empty creativity well.
Just remember to hop back up on that horse ASAP if you do take a break. You don’t want to fall out of your writing routine!
Burnout isn’t the ends of things. It’s just a bump in the road. The sooner you recover from it, the sooner you can get back to writing.
Good luck with your writing goals! I believe in you! 🙂