How to Deal With Writing Burnout
How to get rid of the feeling you're too exhausted to put words on paper.
My favorite time to write is in the mornings. The house is quiet, and I’m less distracted. I also have a time restriction, which, for me, makes me more productive. I know that by 9 AM, I need to finish whatever I’m doing and get ready to take off to work.
I recently started reading Robin Sharma’s book — The 5 AM Club — which changed my perspective on mornings.
A productive morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. So, imagine how it feels when you’re trying to be effective, but all you end up doing is yawning and complaining about your lack of sleep.
This description was me for a while, and I found that it gravely damaged my ability to produce writing.
Until I changed it, here’s what I did.
My first decision was to choose to stop writing for a while. Some people say that you should write about that if you feel you cannot write. But, if I did write about it, that would come out more like a journal entry instead of something valuable that I can put out there and provide value to people.
Instead, I let myself rest. I watched some Netflix and paid more attention to my day job issues than usual.
That was letting me off the hook. After a few days, I still felt as if I was not ready to go back to daily writing.
My stats were suffering, and I wondered whether I would succeed in keeping this up. That just put more stress on me, and I realized I needed to find a way to relieve that stress.
If I didn’t find a way to calm down, I would hurt myself in more ways than just my Mental Health. It was imperative to understand the stress and diffuse it.
So I went on a journey of self-discovery.
What is stressing us out? What is stressing you out? Can you recognize it instantly?
For me, that was problematic. If I look back on my life, I realize that I’ve lived with stress for seven years.
I have a huge debt to repay, and I also need to build my life from scratch. I live at my parents’ house, and the clock is ticking on their lives, as they always remind me.
I need to build a family and work towards owning a house, a car, a healthier body, and whatever else is required of grownups.
Life isn’t easy.
So, when I finally invest some energy, is it any surprise my survival-mode-thinking is investing only minimal energy and expecting immediate results?
I had to change this way of thinking if I wanted to make something great in this life. Nothing worth doing is ever easy.
At least I realized the source of my stress. Now I had to diffuse it.
The easy solution is probably to pay all my debt and make better life decisions. I wish it were as simple as that.
There isn’t a way for me to immediately pay all of my debt. Perhaps there could be rich people who want to invest in my creativity. I’m open to that possibility. That’s why I opened a Patreon. But other than that, there is no easy way out. The only way out is through the challenge.
And ‘through’ means paying my debt. The long way. That could take months or years; I have no idea.
But what I do know is that I’m not alone in this journey. People owe trillions of dollars in debt around the world.
If I focused on paying my debt, I could provide value to people searching for a way out, just like I am.
And while actively working on my debt, I diffuse the stress because I’m honoring it and doing something about the problem.
When I wrote blog posts about my fantasy story or other things, that was only maybe going to help out with my financial issues. When I’m talking about the journey, it will mean budgeting and trying new methods to pay more and perhaps investing more energy into this thing that I need to solve.
I found a way to relieve stress in a manner that doesn’t prevent me from writing. It encourages it and provides value to others.
A win-win situation if you ask me.
The funny thing about this situation is that I’m more excited than ever to write. The only other occasions I felt like this were when I wrote interviews. By doing this, I’m dealing with the problem instead of running away from it or not facing it head-on.
So, to recap this process, we start by realizing what causes the current burnout. For me, that was stress. I think it’s a relatable reason for many people, but perhaps your burnout is caused by something else.
Put effort into discovering what is sapping away your energies.
The next step is to realize what you can do to solve this issue realistically. The understanding that there is no easy solution to paying off your debt made me realize I need to be creative.
By committing to writing about my debt and going on a public educational journey on how to face this challenge, I found an outlet that pivots my writing towards a subject about which I’m passionate. Even if it’s temporary in my life, I can still provide value to many people who are probably already in my fantasy-reading, geeky audience.
The last step is to stay consistent. This is a journey, and perhaps you’re fueled now by the motivations of a new beginning, but make sure that each blog post in this journey celebrates a small victory. You need it to keep going.
When you let your writing help you solve problems, you become a valuable source of information to other people. You also allow yourself to evolve through your writing and become an inspiring figure.
Start writing your future today. There’s no time to waste.