Wednesday, July 11, 2012
A friend recently decided to take a break from writing after 20 years and twenty plus children's books in the marketplace. She said the blank page drained her writing energy.
I totally understand her thoughts. Marketing that takes time away from writing. Depressing book signings when only two people show up. Waiting months to receive that check. Watching a grimace when someone feels obligated to buy a book.
Several blogs address burnout. One suggests a clean office/desk encourages creativity and keeps a writer focused. I'm not entirely in agreement with that one. However, it also says to keep handy those items necessary for your writing (research books/papers in my case) and put everything else away. I can accept that. A few other ideas follow.
If you currently write novels, mix it up and write a few articles. Experiment in other genres. Keep busy while you wait for acceptances. Submit, then start something new, even if not for publication.
Take breaks. Get out of that chair every hour or so. Exercise. Make it fun - dance, walk, or bike. Get an exercise partner. Take up a new hobby. Lately, I started crocheting and knitting again. It keeps my hands busy so my mind can explore new ideas. Besides, I'm gathering Christmas gifts in July.
Go to a movie. Learn a new a language. Research an interesting subject. Get away from it all by reading. I choose "no-think" pleasure reading rather than research. When I close the book after the last page, I know remembering what I read is not important.
Turn off the electronics and phone. Go somewhere different to write - library, coffee shop, book store.
Take a vacation and leave the laptop at home.
Do any of these ideas work for you? How do you handle writer's burnout?