As some of you know, I didn’t blog at all last week because I had a week-long migraine. My doctor prescribed new meds on Friday that
What is Burnout?
The word “burnout” is thrown around quite a bit, and we all have a vague idea of what it means. It’s that feeling of mental and physical feeling of exhaustion that comes with being overwhelmed by work, school, family, friends, etc. We most commonly associate it with work and career, though, but I feel like this is unfair because I felt it in other situations, like:
- When family drama gets prolonged for months and you really don’t want to go out with them because you don’t want to hear about it anymore.
- When your friend has relationship issues and you’re sick of hearing her break-up and get back together with this one guy just to moan at you about how awful he is.
- Finals at school with 3 projects and 5 papers due in one day.
- And… Writer’s block.
I firmly believe that writer’s block is another form of burnout. That feeling when you stare at an empty page and nothing comes. You feel like your writer brain is broken and writing becomes a chore.
Last summer I called my dad back home and told him I wanted to quit writing. I was convinced I wasn’t meant to be a writer because I couldn’t find a job with my fancy new writing degree. I was convinced I wasn’t good enough. I was homesick and I felt like I failed and the last thing I wanted to do was sit down at my computer and write, blog, or work on anything. It was the worst case of writer’s block I’ve ever had and it scared the pants off me!
So there I was, my characters had stopped talking to me, and my head felt eerily silent. I was completely convinced that my manuscript was going to sit in my computer folder half finished forever and I was coming to terms with that. I felt really lost.
And then I got a job… and my characters came back. In fact, my characters have been more talkative with me in the last 2 months then they were all four years of my college career. My job isn’t writing, in fact, I’m a contract worker doing data entry. But I don’t feel like I’m drowning or failing. I’m not saying a job will fix writer’s block, but for
The thing I figured out is I had burned myself out being overwhelmed with everything else in my life. I also figured out if I force myself to do something it’s not going to happen, my brain doesn’t work like that. So one of my New Year’s resolutions was to be kinder to myself. I’m letting myself have days where I reschedule blog posts and take a break from my novel because I get more done in the long run that way. The guilty feeling… I’m working on telling it to shut up.
Do you ever feel burnout? Let me know in the comments!