Wednesday, April 3

Bactine for Writer's Burnout Part 7 (Don't Force Yourself) / IWSG + GIVEAWAY

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ANNOUNCEMENT: I'm on Pinterest! Better late than never, eh? I tried to find many of you already. Follow me, I'll follow back. :)

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IWSG BOOK CLUB: 


Our book selection for April/May is: 

Method Acting for Writers: Learn Deep Point Of View Using Emotional Layers by Lisa-Hall Wilson

Interested in learning how to write in deep point of view? Join us in reading our April/May selection!

Discussion Day will be on May 22. 

Join Us.



What is writer’s burnout?

Burnout is very different from writer’s block. It’s worse. Writer’s burnout is something you feel deep down…bone-deep. It’s just like when athletes burnout from working themselves too hard and too much for too long. They can lose their love of the sport, physically and mentally. You can get writer's burnout from doing anything related to being an author.

To read my story and the tips I previously shared check out:
Bactine for Writer's Burnout Part 5 (Free Your Mind with Walking) Tips 14 - 15
Bactine for Writer's Burnout Part 6 (One Day at a Time) Tips 16 - 17


More Tips to Help You START Reversing Writer’s Burnout:


The worst thing you can do while suffering from writer’s burnout, in my experience, is to force yourself to write. Doing this will only make it that much harder to write. You will form a resistance to it.

What usually happens when someone forces you to do something you don’t want to do or you’re unable to do or are struggling to do?

You refuse.

You cross your arms and shake your head.

You snap. You bite. You tell them to back off and leave you alone.

Get the picture?

In this situation, you’re playing both roles.

The part of yourself that desperately wants to write and knows you “should” be writing (there’s that nasty ‘should’), is telling you to write. Come on, write something! It’s not that hard. You can work on another story, instead.

And the part of yourself dealing with the full brunt of your burnout is refusing. I’m exhausted. I’m not motivated. I tried working on another story, but it didn’t work. I tried, okay, I tried, but I can’t!

I had several people telling me to take a vacation from writing for a couple of weeks and then pick the story back up again, and then, like magic, I’d be able to work on it renewed. This is usually a tip I offer to people with writer’s block (the little brother to writer’s burnout), and it was something I tried before I publicly talked about my burnout, but it did not work.

Another piece of advice was to sit down (butt in seat) and force myself to write, which, again, I had done, and it worked for a day or two, but then my burnout would flare hotter and sink me lower than before.



BACTINE 18: Don’t Apply Force

Forcing yourself to write is not always the answer. It can certainly help with normal day-to-day writing when you have to stop procrastinating and being lazy. It can even help with writer’s block and those times when you have little to no motivation, but with burnout, it can have the opposite of the desired effect.

BACTINE 19: Be Gentle

Sometimes, the best course of action in this situation is to be gentle. You always expect too much of yourself, don’t you? You tend to work yourself to the bone, right? Don’t do that now. You’re in this place because you did that. Now you need to reverse course, change your usual habits. Let your mind, body, and soul rest…for however long it needs.

During that time, keep doing the things I’ve laid out so far.

And believe.


QUESTIONS: Do work yourself too hard, too much? What happens when you do?




***GIVEAWAY***

Eligibility: This giveaway is open to members of the Insecure Writer's Support Group Book Club on Goodreads.

Number of Winners: One

Prize Given to Winner: Hardcover Copy of The First Five Pages: A Writer's Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile by Noah Lukeman

Giveaway Ends: April 8, 2019 12:00am Eastern Standard Time

a Rafflecopter giveaway


53 comments:

  1. When we're forced, we don't do a very good job, either.

    That's wonderful you're on Pinterest. So am I. It's addictive.

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    1. I always heard it was addictive, and that's why it has taken me so long to join, but I can see that it's true. lol

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  2. Yes, stepping back and not forcing yourself to write can be good when you are really burned out or too busy with other parts of life that makes trying to write feel like a burden.

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  3. I def don't have burnout. I need more time! Ugh. I didn't realize working full time again would push my writing time back to weekends only. However, the delay, I think, is helping to inspire me to actually "want" to write.

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    1. Needing more time can sure make things difficult. I'm experiencing that now. I am doing so much and not writing at all.

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  4. I'm trying to get better at respecting my writing process, to be kinder and gentler to my Muse. Creative tantrums aren't going to help anyone. :)

    Enjoyed the IWSG Book Group discussion of Rebecca last month!

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    1. That's great that you're trying to be kinder and gentler to your Muse (and to yourself).

      I'm glad you enjoyed the Rebecca discussion!

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  5. Working myself too hard, too much is my perpetual state of being. Sometimes I do burn out--I call these episodes "crashes," where I'm just too exhausted to do anything but relax and procrastinate. In these times, I do the absolute minimum, so writing new words normally takes a backseat.

    Because of the nature of my life and work, these crashes don't last long, but they're part of the reason I've never written as consistently as I'd like (except during NaNoWriMo). When other parts of my life get too busy, or too demanding, sometimes writing has to wait. It kills me, but I've found it's better to take a brief break than to make myself miserable.

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    1. I have those crashes as well. Usually what happens is that I get sick...my body's way of tell me to slow down.

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  6. I've been learning that the hard way this year. I've tried to force myself to work on two novels, but I dug in my heels. It just wasn't going. So I've started work on a new project. I'm writing notes on paper with the old printed manuscripts away from the computer. It's refreshing. Things are flowing wonderfully. :) Thanks for all your tips!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I'm so glad you found something that works!

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  7. It's so haarrddd when dreaded burnout hits. Happened to me recently, so I've really appreciated all of your Bactine moments. I've read every one of them. The book this month sounds good! I'll look for it on Goodreads. I read Rebecca years ago...

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    1. I'm glad my posts have been useful to you, Lisa. That was my goal. :)

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  8. It really is futile to force oneself to write when words just aren't coming. They won't be very good or convincing words, since they were cranked out under emotional duress. Taking a break does wonders for refreshing the motivation and passion to create.

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    1. I agree. A break and letting yourself get back to writing naturally is a better course to take than forcing yourself to write.

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  9. I just can't seem to find the time I like/need/want... Maybe I'm being lazy or simply procrastinating...

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  10. I think I'm just in the block stage as it's more of a lack of motivation.
    And I try not to bite.

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    1. A lack of motivation was something I dealt with with my burnout.

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  11. I'll find you on Pinterest. I hope it works better for you than me! Good tips.

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  12. I think we need to ax the idea that all writers need to be productive all the time. You don't work a 9-5 job 24/7, so why is writing different?

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  13. Writer's burnout sounds scary. I'm not on Pinterest.

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  14. Congrats on Pinterest. I have an account, but it is too distracting for me. Too much pretty. :)

    Teresa

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  15. Good advice. I try to be gentle on the self-talk. It can get out of hand fast if I don't watch it. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  16. I read something somewhere about following your bliss in the moment. Like, what do you want to do right now? Perhaps that is the answer. Rather than thinking about what you should do, think about what you want to do. It won't get the writing done, probably, but it's one way to be gentile.

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    1. Well, I wanted to write...but couldn't. However, I did, in a way, use that technique to get me out of my burnout.

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  17. I got a 404 error trying to use your P interest link. Here is mine https://www.pinterest.com/juneta/ Happy IWSG!

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  18. Lately I've been at least attempting to force myself to write for 30 minutes a day, and it actually seems to work and at least makes me feel accomplished when I do it and get some words on the page. But I think I suffer more from a mixture of being tired and not motivated, so forcing works in this case.

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    1. Small bursts of writing and small time goals can, indeed, help.

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  19. I talked about method writing when I gave my talk about Deep POV. I find it a very helpful technique.

    And 'don't force yourself' is excellent advice.

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  20. Most of my "blocking" seems to get fixed once I start. But getting to the point where I'm not browsing through CNN, The Weather Channel, or YouTube and actually get to work? That's the hard part.

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    1. Getting out of the procrastination stage can be tough.

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  21. Forcing rarely ever works. Being gentle with oneself is better. You offer great ideas for working through burnout. I hope it's working for you.

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  22. Great post, Chrys! I think as writers, we sometimes miss the forest for the trees. We shouldn't have to "force" ourselves to write. When my husband was in the hospital last month, I tended to the home fires without any thought to be a "failure" because I wasn't writing. Sometimes, life has other priorites. Perhaps the focus could be to "force" ourselves to quit wasting time on the internet and social media and do what we love - which is, tell our stories.

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    1. Funny that you used that wording because this ear the IWSG Book Club will be reading The Forest for the Trees. lol

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  23. Another thing you can do when you just can't write is to work on your marketing strategies. It's a totally different thought process. And having to think about marketing may be enough to make you want to jump back into writing again. :)

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    1. Ha! I think my marketing was one of the reasons for my burnout. It impacted my writing time and usually lead to depression when things didn't go well.

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  24. I have to produce about 2500 words a week for work, which means that my burnout impacts my fun writing more frequently. I use Pinterest as a file to save things I want to come back to read, use, etc. But I don’t particularly use it to connect to folks.

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    1. I don't think I'd work well on a contract/deadline like that.

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  25. Method acting, I like that description of authors. I think I've already been doing that unconsciously :)

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  26. I followed you on Pinterest. Good advice for burnout. Sometimes authors just need a break!

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  27. Cool to see you on Pinterest. I followed you.
    I hate that I missed the last discussion but I am looking forward to this book club book.
    I've never given into the idea of making myself write something everyday. It never worked for me. For me, doing something else creative (not writing) helps me get back into writing. I draw, paint, cook, bake, etc... Thanks for the helpful tips.

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  28. Thanks for this great series. I’ve not had burnout from my writing, but some of the advice about acceptance is good for someone in my position—too busy living to have time to write the way I was used to.

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