How to Overcome Writer Burnout

How to Overcome Writer Burnout
April 25, 2017 1 Comment For Authors, Writing Advice J.K. Allen

Writer burnout. It feels a lot like writer’s block. You sit down at your desk and stare at the blank page and your mind buzzes. You’re stressed to the max and just plain overworked and it’s showing up to haunt you. Burnout happens to us all too often as we push ourselves to do more every day and pack our days to the max. It can be crippling as the days of no work unravel into weeks. So how do we overcome? Let’s take a look.

  • Recognize the problem. You can’t find a solution until you know what’s wrong. Burnout is a lot like writer’s block at first, but can last much longer. Analyze what in your life has been stressing you out or taking up too much of your time. Find the source to your problem.
  • There’s only 24 hours in a day no matter how much you want to get done. So make a list and prioritize. What do you *need* to get done and what can wait until later?
  • Stick to a schedule. This will help keep you from overworking. Know when you write best and set up that time to show up and write. Be sure to take breaks to keep your mind fresh, then move on once you’re done. Know your limits. If you have a marathon session one day, take it easier the next. It’s all about balance.
  • Do something fun. You need to recharge yourself. Do something you love, especially if you haven’t been able to in a while. If you can’t bear not working on your story, try something fun like drawing your main characters. Yes, even if you’re not the *best* artist.

[bctt tweet=”Experiencing writer burnout? Do something fun, especially if you haven’t been able to in a while #amwriting #writingtips #OurWriteSide” username=”hijinkswriter”]

  • Self-care. Self-care is crucial even though it feels like a luxury. You need to take care of yourself to feel your best. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep and eating regularly. You’d be amazed what a difference those two things make.

  • Be realistic. You can only do so much, especially in one day. Set realistic goals for yourself to stay on track. Break things up into manageable chunks and see how much you accomplish, all while feeling super productive.
  • Switch things up. Try a new, upbeat playlist. Go work in a sunny spot outside or in your favorite local café. Change up your projects. Try a different direction or start something new. Don’t let yourself get stuck.
  • Go for a walk. Get some light exercise in and get your blood flowing. It will refresh your brain as well as your body.
  • Work on a mindless task for a while. Do the dishes, or the laundry, or vacuum. Do something that doesn’t require much thought and let your subconscious do the work. You may find yourself solving problems in your story while your elbows deep in suds.

Writing is no easy feat and burnout can happen to the best of us. But it doesn’t mean the end of our writing lives. We can get past burnout if we don’t give up. What’s your best tips for dealing with burnout? Share below and happy writing.


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J.K. Allen Julia Allen received her BA in Creative Writing and English from Michigan State University. She did her senior thesis in poetry under the tutelage of Diane Wakoski, but has been focused primarily on fiction as of late. Common writing themes that can be found in her work address identity and the type of strength that can be found in ordinary people. Julia is currently working on a Young Adult fantasy novel and can be found at local cafes in her hometown when writing, and painting, drawing, or reading when not.
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  1. one Comment

    Adan Ramie

    I didn’t realize that I was having writer burnout until I read this post today. My assumption had been that I was getting depressed from being sick. Thanks for challenging my assumption and giving me a way to exorcise this demon!


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