Thursday, May 30, 2013

Writer Burnout

This has been a first for me.   When I get burned out on writing I take a couple of weeks break and then get back into it. This time it’s been over a month and I’m happy just not writing.  Until now ….when I needed to post on the blog…..

What causes writer burnout you ask?? A series of several experiences:
From Tess Marshall’s article called Recover from Writer Burnout from a blog called Write to be Done, she says that with these time crunch symptoms, burnout is not far behind:
Lack of down time
Feeling overworked and undervalued
Too much responsibility
Lack of monetary rewards for your work
Doing unchallengeable or tedious work
Failure to socialize
Consistently working too many hours
Lack of support
Demanding perfection
A negative view of yourself
Unwillingness to delegate
The need to control everything
Feelings of overwhelm
Don’t get me wrong writing is a love of mine but having too much on your plate can cause the best of us to really come to a screeching halt in our writing.    I didn’t even write in my morning pages…..  But now after over a month of NO writing and getting involved in other activities, I can get back into the swing.
This summer I have a manuscript to finish and articles to write for my online column
Bonds That Tie the Family

Plus other articles I write for other websites I contribute. Taking care not to get burned out again—here are some suggestions for writers to avoid writer burnout.

1. Get rest:  It doesn't do me any good to write way into the night on a daily basis.  Sometimes I'll write late but to repeat this constantly over days can really wear you down and is not healthy.  Set a limit in your schedule of writing and include sleep.

2. Include down time:  I know you want to get that book written but down time helps break up the writing time and helps to keep writers going in the creative process.

3. Exercise: If writers find time to get out and do some exercising, this will help the physical body to feel better.  Schedule some exercise into the day.  It really helps me when I take 45 minutes to walk in the morning.

4. Read Books: Reading helps to keep writers on track and is soothing to the mind.  A good story or a good book about writing better breaks up the writing time and helps prevent burnout.

5. Switch Interests:  There are so many things to accomplish in our short time here on earth. Finding other interests to break up the writing helps tremendously.  I garden and watch movies. There is other art media to join such as watching a live concert or visit a museum or festival.  I attended a quilting show last week and it was so relaxing, I didn't think about writing at all. Participating in other interest is a must for all writers.

6. Do service for others:  Finishing for a deadline is one thing, but spending every waking minute writing is just a difficult task. Find ways to do service for others to help your emotional well-being.

With the heads up on writer burnout and a way to prevent it--you will be on your way to more writing and better polished manuscripts.....

1 comment:

  1. Such a great article, Valerie, and very timely too. Thanks for sharing with us!