#WW How to Avoid Writer Burnout

9 Mar

Writer burnout is different from writer’s block. How? While writer’s block is a force that prevents you from going forward, writer’s burnout is when going forward too much and all the time eventually exhausts you (and your resources). I think it’s important to understand the differences, because the solutions to these problems can be quite different. Ultimately though, figuring out what works for you as a writer is what the key to your success will be. That being said, here are some writing tips to avoid writer’s burnout.

1. Pay Attention

If you normally write 1,000 words a day—and then suddenly notice you’ve written 10,000 words in three days—you might be on a slippery slope to burnout. Don’t get me wrong, it’s AWESOME when you do more than expected, but it’s also easy to get caught up in a writer’s high and forget to pay attention to your needs. Like sleep or adequate food. Stay hydrated. Get up and stretch still. Take care of yourself.

2. Take Breaks

This goes back to the above post, but I think it’s important enough to have its own slot, because it goes back to Typing 101. Every fifteen minutes or so, look away from your laptop. Focus elsewhere. Stretch your hands. Blink. (Blinking is a big one for me.) Stand up, stretch. Anything. Just take breaks. I have early on-set carpal tunnel from not taking care of myself as a teen writer. (I’m only 24!) It’s important to do this, no matter your age.

My dramatic reenactment of writer's burnout

My dramatic reenactment of writer’s burnout

3. If You Get Burnout

I think you’ll know if you get burnout, but if you’re like me, you’re likely to pretend it isn’t happening and try to power through it. Do. Not. Be. Like. Me. (I’m getting better at this myself.) If you recognize your burnout signs, take a well-deserved break. And not just a stretch and cucumber sandwich break. Take a long break. Take the afternoon off. Go for a hike in the woods. Climb up on the roof and stare at the clouds. Drive through the city. Blast some music and dance in your living room. Lie down and have the craziest dream-filled nap of all time. Rock it. This is your time to shine…instead of burnout.

These are just three simple steps to keep in mind if you suddenly feel a crashing sensation of exhaustion. Don’t let writing burn you out. Pay attention, take breaks, and recuperate if need be. Writing will be there when you return. I promise.

~SAT

#AuthorinaCoffeeShop Episode 10 starts on Thursday at 7 pm (CDT) via Twitter’s @AuthorSAT! What is Author in a Coffee Shop? Exactly how it sounds! I sit in a coffee shop and tweet out my writer thoughts while hanging out with you. Last week, I told everyone the story of the time a REAL-LIFE Eric Welborn e-mailed me, wondering why I used his name in my novel. (Spoiler Alert: I thought I made it up.)

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7 Responses to “#WW How to Avoid Writer Burnout”

  1. Charles Yallowitz March 9, 2016 at 6:14 am #

    Good advice. Taking it slow on weekends tends to help me, but I still have a habit of powering through it. Usually results in a really bad Thursday or Friday where I get little done and get moody because of it. Watching TV or staring at the ceiling while daydreaming seem to help. Just let the tension wash away.

    • Shannon A Thompson March 9, 2016 at 3:49 pm #

      Exactly! Thanks for sharing how writer’s burnout affects you and how you overcome it. 😀
      ~SAT

  2. theowllady March 19, 2016 at 4:04 pm #

    Reblogged this on theowlladyblog.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. #WW How to Avoid Writer Burnout | Insomnia, Nightmares and General Madness - March 9, 2016

    […] Writer burnout is different from writer’s block. How? While writer’s block is a force that prevents you from going forward, writer’s burnout is when going forward too much and all the time eventually exhausts you (and your resources). I think it’s important to understand the differences, because the solutions to these problems can be quite […] https://shannonathompson.com/2016/03/09/writer-burnout/ […]

  2. March’s Ketchup | Shannon A Thompson - March 30, 2016

    […] 3. How to Avoid Writer Burnout: Writer’s block is famous, but there’s another culprit I’m all-too familiar with. It’s called writer’s burnout, and I discussed how you can recognize it, tackle it, and avoid it, so it doesn’t happen again. Here’s a hint: Take a break. […]

  3. #SATurdate: The Jungle Book, Thunderclap, and Through the Looking Glass | Shannon A Thompson - May 21, 2016

    […] have three novels complete and ready to pursue publication. I’m sure I’ll recover from writers’ burnout […]

  4. #WW Taking a Writing Break (And Why It’s Important) | Shannon A Thompson - June 8, 2016

    […] the business side of your story. Taking a break might simply help you from NOT burning out. Because writer’s burnout is a thing. Trust […]

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