When Life Gets in the Way of Writing: How to Battle Writing Burnout

Posted: November 1, 2010 in Writing
Tags: ,


If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you may have noticed that it’s been looking kinda…..dead.  That’s because I was suffering from a severe case of writer’s burnout.

To give you a little bit of history, I write and manage three blogs:  one for my fashion/beauty interests that I’ve had for over a year, the new blog for the self publishing company Visual Adjectives, and this one.  You already know I’m in the midst of editing my first novel and just recently began handling all of the social media for Visual Adjectives.  On top of all of that, I have a 40 hour a week day job plus a husband.  It’s amazing I kept it together for this long!  Usually I can handle everything rather well, my To-do lists and advanced scheduling my saving graces.

However last week was BANANAS and the last thing I wanted to do was write.  I had no new ideas, what I was writing was crap, and I just was so not in the mood!

I think every writer experiences burn out sometime in their careers and  it can seem so hard to break out of.  Not only are you stressed that you may be handling too much, you are stressed because you’re not writing and you know you should be.  You may see yourself as a slacker or even feel you’re not cut out for any of this.

You are cut out for this and no, you’re not a slacker.  You’re just burned out and the cure for this exhausting and stressful condition is this:

Do Absolutely Nothing

Take some time out and take a break.  Whether it be a day, two days or even a week.  Read that book you always wanted to read.  Take that road trip you’ve been meaning to take.  Stay in bed and watch mindless TV (that’s what I did over the weekend).  Your mind needs to chill and get rejuvenated.  We writers sometimes have to realize we are not the superheroes we may write about.  The same way your body needs rest after intense workouts, so does your mind.  I know it may be hard to do (and trust me, it took me to start feeling physically sick to take my own advice!) but it’s all worth it! 

After a two-day chill out period, I hit the ground running Sunday, going grocery shopping, getting my house in order, banging out a week’s full of blog posts for one of my other blogs, and practically devouring this book.  That was more than what I had done all week.  Today I’m a producing monster and I feel so good.  The ideas are flowing, my organizing A game is on point, and I’m not the crabby patty I was a few days ago!

So my advice for writing burnout is to relax, take a day or two off.  You (and your writing) will thank you for it!

What are your tips with dealing with writer’s and/or blogger burn out?


What you may have missed!

Hey Newbie Writers! Do you have your 2nd Story Yet?

Round One of Editing: Figuring Out Our Issues

Musical Inspiration: I Remain by Alanis Morissette


Photo couretsy of: edgehopper.com

  1. bovanity says:

    Nice blog post! You’re right about doing nothing when you get burnout. When that happens to me I do everything but write. I play games, watch movies, read, sleep. And then the urge to write hits me again and I write like it’s pouring out of me. I’ve written a post on how to I get in the mood to write. You can check it out here: http://bovanity.wordpress.com/

    Happy Writing!

    • MJ says:

      Thanks so much! I’m glad I went through this though because I can recognize when the burnout serpent starts to rear its head and know to take a break instead of being on the brink of a breakdown!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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