Okay I admit it. I am about five seconds away from writer’s burnout. No, it is not because I suddenly hate writing. I have simply put my writerly fingers into way too many pies and I am juggling writing projects like a performer along the London Southbank. The problem is, I never really learned the art of juggling and it is demotivating. My lifestyle doesn’t allow for it and it is going to take a lot of planning and writing productivity to pull this off. How am I going to do it? Read on to find out.
Not being able to get past a hurdle
Writer’s burnout is usually a bigger issue than writer’s block because it is more than not being able to get past an objective hurdle in your work-in-progress. It is more about the writer’s state of mind and ability to create based on it. I’m probably being dramatic, l do not suddenly hate my fiction and non-fiction work and it’s not that I can’t bear to look at it. More so, I am up to my ears in writing different projects and it is simply easier to bury my head in the sand rather than face what is in front of me. Hence my own specific type of writer’s burnout has ensued.
I have set out some Do’s and Don’ts that I would like to share in hopes of inspiring anyone else who’s in a creative rut now or experiencing writer’s burn out.
Don’t bury your head in the sand like I have. It only makes the problem seem bigger. I have had one writing project that has been collecting dust for absolute months. As a result, picking it back up seems like a bigger deal than it needs to be. If this is you, I would say get straight back to it- pick a date as soon as you can in order to get to grips with it. Set that date and deal with it now.
Don’t write it off completely unless you really feel that there is nothing to gain from it. Moreover, if it is beginning to affect your mental health- at the point where your health is being compromised, then I would suggest considering getting some help and putting it on hold.
Do share your concerns with others. A problem shared is a problem halved indeed and it would help to see if anyone else shares your frustrations or has any suggestions that might help you out with your writer’s burnout.
Do Look at it from a different angle. Don’t tell yourself that you have a big task ahead of you.
Break it into smaller chunks
Writer’s burnout often arises from our view that a project has become unmanageable and is no longer enjoyable. If this is the case, break it down into smaller chunks. Paragraph by paragraph if necessary. As a fiction writer, I break my work down by scenes and if necessary, I will also break those into two parts so that I have a measurable way to make note of my progress.
I currently have a pet project that I am near to finishing but writing one of the last few scenes has driven me towards Writer’s burnout for weeks now. This has happened because there was one scene that I kept building up in my head that I know had to be done but for whatever reason I just didn’t fancy doing it. A few days ago, I faced it head on and realised it needn’t have been this overwhelming task. I cut it down and now that I am in the middle of writing it, I have started enjoying it again! If you are still unsure whether or not you have suffered from writer’s burnout, take a look at this extensive article.
Are there any aspects of your creative process that you find difficult? Have you ever experienced writer’s burnout? Let me know in the comments below!