Friday, March 18, 2016

Why I Don't Regret Having Writer's Burnout

Writer's burnout? What's that? I think writer's block usually happens in the middle of a book when you hit a snag or when you can't come up with a book idea. That's not what I've been going through the last four months or so. No, I just didn't want to write.

Maybe to some that doesn't seem like a long time to not be able to write, but for me it felt long and rather troubling. I always feel fulfilled when I'm in the middle of a writing project, so I was forced to look outside of my obsession/passion and find something else to occupy my mind.

These are the reasons why I think it was a good thing:

1. I moved away from writing and other things occupied my mind so I filled up my tank and imagination. If we don't take part in life, we run dry as writers and don't have fresh things to put on the page. I've noticed the stuff I've just started writing seems fresher and more authentic - not so rushed and formulaic.

2. It got me onto something else that I'm going to be doing. The last six months or so, I've been feeling a bit restless as though writing isn't all that I want to do with my life. I've also had a longing to take part in something to help people or to give to the community. An opportunity to do something totally different and also to benefit other people has come up. I don't think I would have taken the time to delve into this if I'd been on a writing roll.

3. I've had a much-needed break. After a year of writing a full series plus a couple of other writing projects, I reached total exhaustion in beginning November last year. I thought the summer holidays would help clear that out and, although I did have a relatively relaxing holiday, it didn't help. I'm only now starting to feel my writing energy return and it's mid-March. I have written a couple of short stories but now feel ready to tackle a full book again. I couldn't face up to it for a while and it felt strangely scary - like I'd lost my ability.

4. Working from home makes me think that I have to be productive all the time, like I would if I were at a 9-5 job. Yes, I do work every day, but not always on writing. And that's all right. I shouldn't feel like a failure for taking a few months of slowdown. It's a creative career and it doesn't work the same as a clerical one.

5. I feel renewed in my desire to write. It kind of waned for a while and the hiatus has given me new inspiration, new direction and new ideas.

6. I've become more soulful and learned a powerful lesson about taking time out for myself. I'm talking about really relaxing and drawing from the source - whatever you consider the source or the divine. I've grown spiritually the last few months and feel more at peace and loved. It's great to develop rituals or ways to rest and connect with our spiritual side. We're not just intellectual or physical and we can become out of balance when we just concentrate on one facet of our lives.

Have any of you experienced
writer's burnout before? How long did it last and what did you learn from the experience? I'd love to hear your comments.


  1. Glad to hear you have your writing mojo back. I've enjoyed reading your books!

  2. It's good to hear that your writing break turned out to be a positive thing for you.