When I started to research writer’s burnout, I found this explanation. Burnout is staring at a page, hating the page, and questioning your ability as a writer, for a long time. That article also said don’t stop writing.
That didn’t sound right to me. It might work for some but if you’re burned out how can you write?
Then I found this list of burnout symptoms like exhaustion, lack of motivation, you don’t enjoy writing anymore, and when you think about writing you find other tasks you need to do, like ironing. You feel depressed and fantasize about escaping from everything, maybe moving to a beach. You stare at the TV and pig out on ice cream when you should be writing. You can probably fill in a lot of other symptoms if you’re suffering from burnout.
You haven’t written a new word for months, so you know you’re burned out. What now?
First Take a Break.
If you have to go to work. you still have to do that. But other daily chores and specifically writing, take a break.
That will depend on you. It could be weeks. It could be longer. You need to stop writing and get in touch with your inner self. Sleep more. The Dalai Lama said, “Sleep is the best meditation.” Figure out how much sleep you need. It’s individual.
Meditation may also help. Try yoga or running. Read more. Take up painting. Fit the new activity/s into a new routine for yourself and have fun. Laugh more.
During this ‘break’ time organize your living quarters. Focus on your writing area. Clutter can contribute to burnout.
When that desire to write returns and you really want to put words on a page. Schedule your writing. Pick a time to start and how long you will write. Don’t go over that time frame. Remember consistency is the key to writing and avoiding burnout. Take care of yourself.
If you have any other tips, I’d love to hear them.