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Writer's Burn Out

There are a lot of challenges that writers face that keep them from finishing a project. It could be one form or another of writer’s block, not having the time to write or not keeping their thoughts organized enough. There are several reasons a writer may stop writing all of a sudden, like overthinking or overproduction.

It may seem almost unbelievable but there are some authors that get so absorbed and caught up in a project that they get burned out. What happens is the amount of time and discussion that goes into the project frustrates the author to the point of exhaustion so they just give up.

I personally know an author who spent well over ten years pouring her every thought into her children’s book then quit writing after it was finally published. She had gotten involved with a vanity publishing house that had strapped her bank account, her time and her will to write anything else. She had literally given up her amazing talent because she was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted from a single project.

There are other authors that write several books in a row or simultaneously over a short period of time that stop writing because they have overtaxed themselves. Giving too much in such a short burst can cause a writer to go into ‘burn out’ mode. This doesn’t mean they have no more ideas for stories, no time to write or no workspace. It just means they have written so much that they simply do not want to write anymore.

There are several other situations that may be similar. However, instead of extra examples, it seems important to point out that it doesn’t really matter what the reasons are when someone walks away from their talent. The only thing that really matters is realizing a solution to situations like this that can keep these problems from happening again.

First and foremost, always do your research. If a company is asking you to pay a lot of money for services you could probably do on your own, it may be in your best interest to not get involved with them. There are way too many publishing options available to writers these days for us to limit ourselves to choosing a company that straps us to the point of walking away. Remember, do your research and don’t sign on for anything you haven’t thought over for at least forty-eight hours. This may not be the best time frame but it at least gives you a minor window to breathe and think through.

If you find yourself overproducing, walk away and take a break. It doesn’t have to be a long break but it does need to be long enough for you to come back with a clearer head. While it is very true that several authors work on several projects at the same time, it is equally true that a large majority of barely conceived ideas go unfinished.

The thought of a great story, regardless of genre, coming to a dead-end because the writer had nothing else to give is tragic. Take a break and try to focus on a single story. Set aside an allotted amount of time or give yourself a specific deadline to complete a project. Again, it may not be easy to give yourself deadlines but it does work, especially when an author is working on more than one manuscript.

It may be a really good idea to remember that some projects are bound to take extra time due to the length of the manuscript as well as the time it takes to go through proofreading and editing. Some manuscripts are short so although they require the same proofreading and editing, the process should be nowhere near as long.

In short, authors should not overstress themselves until they feel the need to quit writing. Writing requires passion but when the writer is at a loss for any reason that passion erodes. Remember: think things through, avoid overproduction and take breaks when they are needed so that you can continue doing what you love - writing.


Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Amy Raines