The idea of writing for a living seems like the ideal way to earn a living. You can set your hours to write when the words flow and take a break when you need to recharge. Or so you thought. Clients can be demanding and they want you to turn in the assignments when they want them, even if that messes up your ideal writing plan. It is important that you learn how to recharge before burnout takes away your writing joy.
Writer’s burnout happens when the writer is experiencing a breakdown consisting of mental, and sometimes physical exhaustion in which case every day is a bad day for writing. Your writing becomes dull and uninteresting even to yourself; you feel detached from your own writing.
What are the signs of writer’s burnout?
How do you know if you are experiencing writer’s burnout? There are many signs to watch for, but here are some specific signs you may be experiencing it:
- You lower your standards just to get the work done. Once you have sent work to your client you disengage and have no interest in whether they liked it or not. The problem is that eventually you will develop a reputation as a lazy writer and your well of clients may dry out.
- You look for ways to escape writing by creating excuses why the assignment is beyond your ability. You come to believe that your ability to write about any topic has diminished. The solution here figure out why you have lost your writing joy and then create a solution.
- Your clients are not happy with your work and you don’t care. They may request revisions to work you felt was fine the way it was and instead of simply revising your work to satisfy your client, you avoid them, argue, and expect the problem to just go away. This is the time you need to step back and give yourself a chance to recharge your batteries.
5 ways to find your writing joy again.
Every writer has different strategies for recharging and finding their writing joy once again. Here are five simple ways to rekindle the flame of writing:
- Clear off your writing space: It really is true that our work space reflects our mental space. A clear mind will function better if the work space reflects your inner world.
- Give yourself some free-writing breaks: Sometimes the mind can become log-jammed with writing ideas. Clear those log-jams in your mind by writing about something completely different. Spend some time writing prose or verse to free up your mind.
- Take a Mental Health Day: Schedule into your writing work week a break to replenish your mind. For example, you can schedule Wednesday as your day to get away from the keyboard by going to the museums, zoo, shopping mall, or anywhere you won’t be writing.
- Give yourself a Mind Dump: As a writer your mind tends to run rampant with ideas. Take an hour or so to put those ideas down on paper or on the screen to clear away those ideas so you can regain your writing focus.
- Change your work location: Instead of writing alone in your corner at home, go to a coffee shop or food court or somewhere where there is activity. The glances around the room at people from time to mind will give your brain a spark from time to time.
These simple steps are an important part of avoiding burnout, make them part of your regular routine.
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