Feeling the burn? It's time to prevent it with some effective antidotes recommended by experts.
Today's demands on writers and other creative artists are overwhelming. We often flood our schedule with less important tasks and sink our creative motivation.
When you do a lot of writing, you get burnt out very quickly, and basically what happens when you feel burnt out is that you feel like your words don't matter anymore.
You start second-guessing yourself, and you just feel like quitting and never writing again, which is an awful feeling to have as a writer.
It's really important to figure out if you're going through a rut or truly do suck at something.
Here's the deal.
If you are doing something poorly and don't enjoy it, then you probably suck at it.
If you are doing it poorly, but it's important to you or want to get better at it – keep trying.
Writing is what we thrive off of, so we go through a little bit of an identity crisis when we question ourselves.
So today, I want to step you through some of the tips I have collected from experienced authors and burnout coaches to defeat writer's burnout, which is something I personally have been facing.
These tips will help you overcome the burnout and find your 'Ah, Ha' moment.
You will finally feel like you are on a ROLL.
I am a Los Angeles-based coach, customer champion, and operations leader. I consider myself an impact architect, and I believe we're all artists in search of our favorite medium. I help leaders, creators, and go-getters to unleash their potential and get the best out of their creative strength.
To deal with burnout, you must breakout of your routine! Give yourself some grace. You have accomplished great, challenging tasks in the past and you can certainly do it again. But right now, something has to change. Approach the search for the root cause of your burnout as an adventure. Try writing in shorter sprints of time; try standing vs sitting; switching from computer to pen & paper; writing in a different color; using a different POV; or more.
Celebrate trying new things and keep track of what works!
Use all 5 of your senses to identify cues you can use to recenter and recharge. Take a few conscious breaths and leverage one of your cues when you get stuck. It might be writing in the warmth of the sunlight, a particular scent, the taste of your favorite tea, seeing a house plant, or hearing a particular song. Practicing gratitude for simple, easily accessible cues helps build your resilience toolkit.
2. Leigh M. Clark
I am on a mission to make an impact. Everything I work at is about making a difference. I live to inspire others to live their best life by sharing their own positivity. My work has been featured in HuffPost and other national media outlets.
I think the way we continue to be content creators is by finding ways to continue to be inspired. I find that I run out of inspiration when I continue to look only inward for it. The true secret to unlocking the words is to find more people to tell you about their stories and experiences. The more observant we are in the world around us, the more interesting our writing continues to be.
3. Jas Rawlinson
I'm a best-selling author, book coach, and ghostwriter whose work has been featured in Authority Magazine, ABC News, House of Wellness, non-fiction authors association, and news.com.au.
My top tip to overcome writer's with burn out would be as follows:
One of the most fruitful pieces of advice I can give to first-time writers, particularly those who write on issues that are quite emotionally taxing, is to remember to schedule 'downtime' into your calendar. Whether it's going for a hike, gardening, taking time for a coffee date, or watching some trashy reality TV, you need something that gets you away from your desk and helps you to relax. This is something I had to discover the hard way, after going through burnout in 2019. As a book coach and author who deals with very heavy and at times traumatic content, I cannot stress enough how important it is to schedule regular time out, just as you would doctor appointments or client meetings.
4. Alica Young
I am a journalist, author of six books, and a non-fiction book coach.
My tips for writers to deal with burn out would be:
When you take breaks, flex a different muscle.
• Fix that squeaky door.
• Inhale that delicious baby scent (make sure the baby belongs to you).
• Listen to a light news story in a different language and try to discern what they're saying. It's just a different type of storytelling.
Remember that being a writer is just one part of who you are. You wear myriad hats in life, and making time to enjoy those parts is not only rejuvenating, it ultimately makes you a better observer of humanity.
5. Aaron McWilliams
I am Aaron McWilliams, director of marketing 1Dental.
One of the best ways to empower your writing and prevent yourself from becoming burnt out when you're a writer with a heavy workload is to find a great book on writing to read because it will help you stay excited about what your working on and find new ways of approaching your projects which can help keep things dynamic and fresh. Whether you're writing for marketing or creative styles, sometimes the cause of burning out is feeling like we don't have anything new in the tank, but reading a quality writing book such as E.B. White's timeless work 'Elements of Style,' can help provide a new perspective on writing and compel you to experiment with something unique.
6. Lisa Bourke
I am the founder of Content Hive where I help brands grow through effective online and digital marketing.
With any type of burnout, it's time to focus inwards. We all get busy and making time for ourselves is usually the first to be put on the backburner. I recommend unplugging. Turn off those notifications and get out of your daily environment. Taking a day or two off to recharge can make all the difference.
Try getting out into nature, read a good book, exercise, or even do something you have never tried before. When you do overcome the burnout and are feeling back to yourself, take the time to schedule re-charge time into your calendar to avoid falling into the same trap in the future.
7. Donna Munro
I am a contemporary women's fiction author. What I will suggest is to start a habit to deal with burnout.
You can write a diary or journal. Mark the days and times you plan to write, add ideas, prompts, or plot notes. Use stickers or colored pens to make it fun. Set appointments with yourself, and keep them.
8. Laura English
I am a lead copywriter, content writer, journalist, and SEO at Sonder Digital Marketing.
My tip for writers struggling with burnout is to stop looking at the hours you have and thinking any spent not writing are wasted. Eating, going for a walk or run, taking a shower, seeing friends, and of course, reading is all really good ways to refresh your mind and get your creativity flowing again.
By prioritizing balance, you can be more productive within the hours you allocate to writing and you can expect better creativity.
Wrapping Up with My Tips
I would suggest the writers struggling with burnout is that it's okay to feel tired. We all get overwhelmed sometimes and just because you're tired doesn't mean you're not trying enough. It doesn't mean you're not meant to be a writer. It just means that maybe you pushed yourself too hard.
At this time, take a little bit of a step back. Acknowledge the situation, sit back, and write down everything that you've accomplished recently. This will be a great boost of confidence.
I also read to keep my creative juices flowing because primarily I am a reader, and when you are a busy person, you forget to put the time aside to read.
It not only is reading relaxing, but it also helps you improve your craft by reading widely.
Last but not least tip is to sit back and ask yourself why did you start writing in the first place.
This could be the most intricate question to answer why do you write.
Do you do it as an emotional outlet? Do you do it because you just love forming stories? Do you do it because you have a story to tell?
Just inquire yourself why am I doing this, and if the answer is just because you feel obligated to or want to make money or a career as an author, you might want to do some renovating.
If you're not doing it for the sheer love of writing, don't do it because honestly, you're just wasting your time.
The only people that make it as a career make it as a full-time writer in the long term is only if they love it because there's a lot of hard work that goes into being an author/content creator. That takes a lot of time and dedication, and sometimes it's not the most rewarding career.
On the other hand, if you do it because you absolutely love it then keep doing it.
When you feel the burn take a deep breath.
You're trying a little bit too hard; you're pushing yourself too hard, and there's nothing wrong with getting a step back for a short while.
You'll find that when you do take a step back and jump back into it again, you'll find that passion for writing once again, you'll find the passion for telling a story and just letting the words flow. They will flow much easier when you take the pressure off yourself.
Well, those are some tips for getting past writers' burnout. If you have any other additional tips you want to share, let me know in the comments down below.