Monday, December 19, 2022
Monday, December 12, 2022
by Colleen M. Story
We’re coming to the end of the year—which means you may be feeling writer’s burnout.
Even a regular year of writing can be taxing. Add in a book launch (or two?), NaNoWriMo, and a few challenges on your WIP, and you may be thinking that you’d be just fine if you never wrote again!
But don’t worry. That’s the weariness talking. And weariness—even if it’s creeping into burnout—can be fixed with the right kind of rest.
Try the following suggestions and see if, by the time the new year comes around, you don't feel ready to pick up the pen (or keyboard) again.
1. Get Some Extra Sleep
Most of the time, you have to tend to the body first. Trying to restore your mind, emotions, and creativity while you’re still dragging around physically doesn’t work.
Writers are consistently up against deadlines and expectations. It’s common to end up at the end of the year feeling physically exhausted.
If you haven’t gotten a good night’s sleep in a while, you’re getting sick more often, or you’re experiencing more aches and pains than usual, you need this type of rest.
Solution: Take some time to tend to your sleep routine. Make sure you have a comfortable, quality mattress (they should be replaced every 5-8 years usually), that your room is cool and quiet, and that you keep all technology (including televisions) out of the bedroom.
Then incorporate a daily stretching routine or yoga practice to ease muscle tension. Finally, give yourself at least a weekend to rest as much as you need to. Use naps as much as you like!
2. Give Your Brain a Break
Writing takes a lot of brain power. We have to keep our settings, characters, timelines, and plotlines straight, and then we have to make sure we reach all our editing, publishing, and marketing deadlines.
After a year of writing, marketing, and book launching, your brain needs a break. Sleep will help, but it’s not enough.
If you suffering from brain fog and you’re taking longer than usual to get your projects done, you need this type of rest.
Solution: Try meditating, crafting, coloring, and long walks. Then schedule at least half a day once or twice a week to banish browsing and let your brain veg out. Rekindle your love of daydreaming.
3. Cater to Your Feelings
The writing life is a roller coaster. We all feel the ups and downs. Writing acceptance! Writing rejection. Great review! Poor review. A day in the writing flow. A day of writer’s block.
If you’ve spent the year “sucking it up” through a variety of disappointments, you need this type of rest.
Solution: Share your feelings in a journal. Establish and maintain boundaries with other people. Take a step back from demanding relationships for a while. Do what makes you feel happy. Be self-indulgent! Grant yourself a day to do anything you want without guilt.
Then go back and re-read all the positive comments and reviews you’ve received on your writing.
4. Court Your Muse
After a year of writing and marketing, your creative muse may have gone into hiding. We expect it to always be there for us, but sometimes we ask too much of it and it naturally withdraws.
If you’re suffering from writer’s block or can’t come up with a new idea to save you, you need this kind of rest.
Solution: Get involved in activities that inspire you. Spend some time in nature. Allow yourself to experience beauty in any form. Expose yourself to some fine art or good music. Spend a day trying on outfits you love. Spruce up your writing nook so it feels more conducive to creativity.
If you like, try writing something completely different than you usually do: a children’s story, poem, or personal essay.
5. Shut Out the World
Particularly if you’re an introverted writer, you could be suffering from sensory overload. All the interacting on social media, book signings, conference going, and other demands of the writing life can have you craving a dark room and lots of alone time.
If you’re more irritable than usual or feel like your nerves are on end, you need this type of rest.
Solution: Indulge your inner mole. Shut yourself away from the world for a day or more if you can. Take a weekend to curl up with a good book or rent a cabin by the lake where all you’ll hear in the morning are the birds. Silence can be incredibly restorative.
Colleen M. Story is a novelist, freelance writer, writing coach, and speaker with over 20 years in the creative writing industry. Her latest release, The Beached Ones, is from CamCat Books. Her novel, Loreena’s Gift, was a Foreword Reviews’ INDIES Book of the Year Awards winner, among others.
Colleen has written three books to help writers succeed. Your Writing Matters is the most recent, and was a bronze medal winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards (2022). Other award-winning titles include Writer Get Noticed! and Overwhelmed Writer Rescue. Enjoy free chapters of these books here.
Wednesday, December 7, 2022
#IWSG Insecure Writer’s Support Group
Sign Up And Become a Member
Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.
Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience, or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.
The next IWSG Twitter Pitch
will be January 25, 2023!
Check out details on our #IWSGPit page.
There have been so many success stories over the years –
your manuscript might be next. Start polishing those stories and pitches now.
The awesome co-hosts for the December 7 posting of the IWSG are
Joylene Nowell Butler, Chemist Ken, Natalie Aguirre, Nancy Gideon, and Cathrina Constantine!
This month spotlights are:IWSG Member Book: Little Ragdoll: A Bildungsroman-
Craft Book: Self-Editing for Fiction Writers- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/180467.Self_Editing_for_Fiction_Writers