I is for Idleness: Writer Burnout
I’ve probably lost my mind this month. In addition to working on revising my novel — a challenge in itself, since I seem to be destined to have to add to it — I’m also taking two writing courses, and participating in the A to Z challenge. I also got invited to write for another blog.
The writing courses are Structure Safari and From Madness to the Method. Safari has been giving me fits because we’re on theme, and I can’t get to what the theme in my book is because I can’t figure what theme is. M2M uses Method Acting to add emotions. One small problem is that’s one of the things I’m adding to the novel (evidently, it’s a problem with pantsers). The A to Z challenge is to write 26 blogs and post them on specific days during April. I write a week’s worth and schedule them on the blog. The other blog is Unleaded Fuel for Writers, but it only requires a post every other Tuesday.
It is a LOT of writing. I haven’t done this much since I was trying to break into Hollywood and wrote a script a week. A script is anywhere from 50 pages to 120, depending on the type of script. So, essentially, it was a full, completed story, first draft to revision, in a week. I finished one and launched on another one, and burned myself out. Ever since then, I’ve been afraid — perhaps too afraid — of burning myself out again. At times, I feel like I’m overwhelmed, and I want to push back to slow things way down. But I’m also making sure I take time out for some idleness, something I didn’t know enough to do during my screenwriting days. Idleness, while it looks not productive, helps recharge the creative batteries.
QUESTION FOR YOU: What’s been your experience with writing this much? How do you balance it out so you don’t suffer from burnout?