A few years ago, my sister had this dog. It was a toy yorkie and whenever he got mad or frustrated or didn’t want to go outside he would do this cute little thing where he’d scratch his claws against the carpet and do this moonwalk kind of thing. It’s super hard to explain in words, but it was cute. And, for whatever reason, everyone would always say he was ‘doing the burn out’.
Yeah, that story has nothing to do with the rest of this post, though.
Well… maybe a little.
So, lately I’ve noticed that I’ve been majorly slowing down in my efforts to… Okay, really, I’ve just put writing my next story on the back burner. I mean, I’m pretty far into it (about 1/3 of the way to the end) and I like it and everything, but…
I’m burnt out.
I’m not sure why, exactly, though… but, either way, I am and there’s no denying it. Maybe I’m bored. Maybe I’m tired. Maybe I’m lazy. I don’t know. But… that doesn’t matter now.
What matters is trying to get out of it.
I’ll admit I’m pretty susceptible to writing burn out; it’s happened quite a few times in the past. This time, though, I knew it was coming before it even hit me… because I’ve been through this so many times before. It starts out with gradually choosing to work on something else on my laptop instead of opening that word document every few days… and then, once I do turn to that document, I stare… even more than usual. And then I begin to notice my progress on the word counter begins to slow week by week… and then, before you know it, my typing fingers have screeched to an annoyingly high-pitched stop.
Again, though, getting out of the funk is the important part.
Thinking back to the other times I’ve been forced through this, I usually come back out of it fairly quickly. Not always as quickly as I’d liked or had gotten caught in the trap to begin with… but quick enough. And it always kind of happens naturally… meaning I don’t do much other than wait for the burn out to pass and eat a lot of pizzas.
This time, though, it’s different.
It’s different this time around because… well, now I’m kind of taking my writing a lot more seriously than I had before. And, after getting some good feedback from publishing my first ebook, I’m already really looking forward to publishing and promoting my second, this time possibly for some money (my first was and still is free- check it out here if you haven’t already!), and that’s a really big deal. I think that makes writing more like a job than just a hobby for me… safe to say, right?
As with any ‘real’ job, though… there are deadlines and, I guess you could say, standards. So, I really do have standards and deadlines set for myself, especially for this next book that I’m working on… and now the stupid burn out is getting in my way.
So, I really don’t want to and kind of can’t just wait for this burn out to pass this time around… so, um, what do I do?
Also, let me clarify, burn out and writer’s block are two completely separate things, at least in my mind. Writer’s block happens when you physically can’t write because you don’t know what will happen next in your story. Burn out, as in what I’m experiencing, happens when you do know what’s going on next… but you’re too out of it or something to actually come to write it.
It’s an odd phenomenon, I know.
Again, though… wtf (to keep it semi-clean here… haha) do I do?
…And I have no answer to that question.
I’m sorry and I deeply apologize if you came to this post experiencing the burn out, too, and expected some clarity and guidance from myself on how to escape, but, um… no, I don’t really have any.
Maybe, though, I should just stop trying to write for a week or so… or just stop opening and staring at my word document, but I’m still not so sure that’s the answer for me. Or maybe I should switch to writing a short story for a bit to recharge my mind… but, actually, I’ve tried that before and have only had about a 50% success rate with that endeavor.
So, here’s me reaching out to the rest of y’all here.
Any suggestions as to what I should do? Have you ever had the dreaded burn out, and, if so, what helped you get out the funk?
I’ll take a look around on some other sites and see if I can collect some sort of answers for myself… but, in the meantime, any suggestions from you guys could really help me out. Also, if I do find an answer that works… I’ll make a second post on this topic and let you all know. Or, if I don’t, I’ll probably still come back and give you an update on how the burn out progresses and such.
Until then, though…
-iKari the burnt out