Friday, January 10, 2014

Avoiding "burnout"

I'm drawing today's blog inspiration from the list of 101 Blog Post Ideas for Writers. Let me know if you do the same!

Today's topic: Avoiding "burnout"
All writers fear it: writer's block. No ideas. An exhaustion with writing so severe that they can't imagine opening up a Word document ever again. In a word: BURNOUT.
Thankfully, my “burnout” usually comes when I hit winter/summer break. 15 weeks of nonstop writing and reading for school can really take its toll. I always set all these goals of projects for break (working on that novel I shelved during grad school, reading all the fun books I haven’t had time for, etc), but realistically I know I’m going to sit on the couch and watch tons of TV while crocheting an afghan for three weeks.
You need to give yourself permission to relax once in a while. You can’t gogogogogo 24/7. Sarah Dessen recently posted about scrapping the novel she’s been working on because it just wasn’t working and she was burnt out. That’s a scary thing to do, and I really admire her for it (both putting the draft away AND blogging about it). Taking time off doesn’t make you a failure, it makes you human.
Sarah also posted a quote she found about how even trees go dormant during the winter…they aren’t meant to produce year-round fruit, so why should you expect yourself to? So true! And you’ll most likely be a stronger writer when you come back from a break. I do, however, keep a list of ideas and little things I think of while I’m on a break. That way I’ll have something to start with when I come back.


  1. I like taking breaks from writing every once in a while. It's nice to be able to watch endless crap and read trashy magazines without feeling guilty about the writing I should be doing, and I usually have tons of ideas ready by the time I go back! And if Sarah Dessen is going to tell me that taking a break is fine, I'm so listening…hopefully it'll make me at least 15% as good as she is :)

    1. I totally agree! Over the winter holiday, I took a break from writing and all my serious stuff and watched SO MUCH TV. It was great to let my mind relax.

      And I agree: If Sarah Dessen does it, it has to be right!


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