Being a writer can be difficult, especially when there’s so much pressure to connect and create content these days. This mounting pressure to constantly supply readers with material can really stress and burn out a writer. Burnout and stress can adversely affect the writer and everyone around him or her. Not a good place to be when you’re trying to be the next great novelist.
For those of you unfamiliar with burnout, it can be described as lack of motivation, inspiration, or energy mixed with severe exhaustion. It can manifest itself as headaches, irritability, trouble sleeping, depression, isolation or feeling sick and tired. A lot of different things can cause burnout. Lack of free time, too many obligations, feeling overworked and undervalued, and a lack of reward are just a few examples.
So what can writers do to help keep themselves from becoming overworked and hating their craft? Here are a few tips to help you avoid becoming burnt out.
Set limits: At times it’s hard to resist the urge to write everything. New opportunities pop all the time and you may feel crazy saying no to some of them. But it’s important that you do. Limit yourself to a number of contests, magazines and anthologies you enter for the month or even year to help keep from getting burnt out. If you reach your goal and you feel that you are able to do more, feel free to do so.
Disconnect: I love the internet and social media just as much as the next person, but all these instant forms of communication can sometimes do more harm than good. Remember there’s a world outside of the internet and text messaging. Turn off your phone and computer for a while and enjoy the world. You never know what will inspire you out there.
Get a change of scenery: Changing where you write can make a huge difference. If you write mostly inside, try sitting outside. If you like to write in a local coffee shop, try going to a park instead.
Clean your writing space: It’s easy to let your writing space become cluttered with papers, books, cups, bowls and whatever else you may need to work on your craft. However, a messy work space can cause a mess for you creatively as well. Clean it up and let your creativity flow.
Get active: It’s tempting to sit at the computer or stare at a notebook all day and work on your projects. However, it’s not very good for you physically or mentally. Taking a walk or even doing some light stretching can help reboot your body and mind.
Hang out with your family and friends: Don’t let your family and friends take a back seat to your work. Spend time with them. Not only will you guys feel happy about spending time together, but you may get inspired too.
Don’t do anything: Sometimes the best thing to do is not to do anything. Laze around and take yourself.
What are some ways you like to avoid burnout? Let me know in the comments below.