03 July 2024

An Adversary Called Writer's Fatigue


As writers, we all face a multitude of challenges, from rejection and criticism to lack of time and writer's block. But there's one adversary that often sneaks up on us, unnoticed until it drains our creativity-writer's fatigue. It's a struggle we all share, yet it's not always easy to recognize until it's too late.

Writer's fatigue can affect even the most seasoned of us, manifesting in different ways. It might be a loss of joy in the writing process, a depletion of fresh ideas, or the overwhelming burden of balancing our writer's life with other responsibilities. You're not alone in this struggle.

I've recently had several of my writer friends express this sort of exhaustion with writing, but blogging in particular. They've made it clear to me that they've reached a turning point and no longer know what to say. They've become sick of writing, submitting manuscripts for publication, and posting new articles, and they wish they could just stop. These talented writers had lost their joy in writing and their enthusiasm for everything related to writing...and, in some cases, even more. They seemed to have forgotten all they had accomplished. They were left drained and downcast. It saddens me to think of them giving up on writing altogether.

Benjamin Franklin used to say: "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!"  These are wise words indeed, but how can you prevent losing the joy writing brings due to fatigue? Here are just a few things that have helped me in the past to at least mitigate the effects or even avoid burnout  entirely:

Reevaluating the Workload 

I have a habit of reviewing my to-do list every quarter to assess which tasks are essential and which ones I can do without. My primary focus at the moment is on my family, which includes two energetic dogs, and my writing. If any of my outside commitments do not align with these priorities, I know it's time to revisit and revise my to-do list.

Cutting Back on Social Media 

Let's be realistic: Social media is everywhere and can significantly drain a writer's time and energy. A few months ago, I decided to cut back on my time posting and commenting on my social media outlets. This decision, which may seem insignificant at first, has actually had a profound impact on my productivity, freeing up time and energy for other responsibilities. 

Chasing the Joy of Writing 

It's that joy that fuels my creativity; sometimes, I forget that I must consciously look for ways to bring joy into my own life. I find comfort in the simple things of life, like drinking a good cup of coffee, snuggling with my dogs, or reading an exceptional book. Or just scrubbing my kitchen until it gleams - I know, it's weird, but I enjoy it.

Taking Care of Ourselves

When we reach rock bottom and need to stop writing for our well-being, it doesn't mean we have to give up our writing career forever. I often have to take a break from writing when I get migraines. It's not beneficial to force myself to keep writing while I'm suffering through excruciating pain. So, if I need to distance myself from writing to feel better, I will. Self-care is important. If you don't take care of yourself, no one else will do it for you.

Taking a Break

I just returned a couple of weeks ago from a trip to Tennessee. And although it was a busy week filled with driving, flying, dinners, etc., it was still a break from my routine. After my time away, I was ready to return to my daily life with renewed energy.

Most writers battle burnout at some point. The key is to be aware that it's a genuine adversary and to be mindful of the symptoms that may indicate we're losing our spirit and joy of writing. It's essential that we take conscious steps to recapture the joy that brought us to writing in the first place if we notice that our happiness is slowly being squeezed from us. We can't expect anyone to love our scribbles if we don't even like what we write!

Have you ever faced burnout or lost the joy in writing? What helps you through the rough times?

Piper is the award-winning author of The Country Girl Empress series. When she isn't busy typing on her computer, she can be found chasing after her furry children or holding on tightly to a good cup of coffee. Follow her on LinkedInFacebookMedium, and Goodreads.
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