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?

13 thoughts on “I is for Idleness: Writer Burnout

  1. That’s a lot of writing, but I think it’s good. I wish I had the willpower to have a specific writing schedule. I’m loving doing the atozchallenge because it’s forcing me to write every day and to be creative. I guess I like structure, a deadline and people holding me accountable. Left to my own devices, I’m kind of lazy.
    So, I say keep it up! Be prolific!


    1. The problem I’ve had over the years is that I pulled back because I thought I couldn’t handle it. My work has been so chaotic for the last eight months that it’s almost like this is a way to balance it out.


  2. Hi 🙂

    Just popping in from the A-Z Challenge *waves*

    WOW…. I am in awe! How do you do it? Lol

    I’ve been doing a post a day on my blog plus I’m doing a writing prompt a day for the whole of 2012 and I’m beginning to flake lol



    1. It’s a challenge, isn’ti t? I had two letters this week that I could not figure out what to come up with. I finally did. I’m pleased I already have one prepped for next week — O, but I still need to work on the rest.


  3. Wow a script a week! I’m impressed. Yeah, the A-Z challenge is a challenge, like you, I write a week at a time, I’m up to “S” – I moving countries in the middle of the challenge so have to write in advance and schedule – I burned out on the last batch I wrote and noticed they got shorter- yet have also stumbled on someone who writes magical gems in about 150 words – that’s my next goal. For this year’s challenge it’s under 500 words = Places I’ve Lived. 26 letters isn’t enough.


  4. I feel you — I have edits on my book due and a magazine article due on top of blogging three times a week, and it’s the season of my kids end of year activity — extra dance practices for the recital, extra martial arts classes for the tournament and belt testing … add in my daughter’s taking driver’s ed … and I’m exhausted! I’ve backed off Social Media quite a bit, just trying to make brief appearances every other day or so, and eased up on my expectations for chores and such around the home. Other than that … I’m keeping in mind that it’s only for a short season. Thankfully!


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