There is a problem that many writers will eventually face, and it’s one that is not easily overcome. It strikes both amateurs and professionals, and it comes without the slightest bit of warning.
Every writer, at some point or another, will find himself or herself sitting down, ready to begin yet another day of crafting words, only to discover that the words simply aren’t coming.
For some writers, this is known as being “blocked.” For others, however, it’s far more than that. Writer’s block can eventually be destroyed with the passage of time and by using various creative techniques to surmount the problem. But, burnout is far more than that.
It’s when a writer just doesn’t want to write any longer.
This usually happens when a writer has been spending too much time with a project or with a series of books within the same project. After all, these characters come to life for a writer, don’t they? Now, imagine if you spent too much time with the same people, day in and day out – morning, afternoon, and night.
When we’re with our families, we’re also forced to go to work and forced to interact with the rest of the world. But, when we’re burning out on a project, it’s because that project is there with us every minute of the day. While the boss is jumping down our throat for not getting an assignment in on time, we’re trying to figure out how to get our protagonist from being killed by his nemesis. While our spouse is complaining that the kids are being total monsters, we’re focused on how to get our protagonist’s ally to save the day in time.
The more time that we spend on our project, the more risk we run that we’re just going to get so sick of it that we want to bang our heads against a concrete barrier.
So, what’s the solution?
Take a vacation.
When you simply can’t muster the energy or the strength to get excited about your latest endeavor, just walk away from it. If you think you can’t, you’re wrong.
And – stay away.
That’s right. Don’t think about it. Don’t discuss it. Don’t look at your notes.
Just walk away from the damned thing.
One day – it might be 24 hours or it might be a month – you’ll discover that you have to get back on the saddle. You can’t NOT work on the project.
When that happens, you’ll probably discover that you’ve unleashed a sudden burst of energy and inspiration that you didn’t know you possessed.
Take advantage of the moment and strike while the iron is hot – but always walk away from the project whenever you start to feel the burnout coming. The earlier you do that, the quicker you’ll find yourself overcoming the burnout.