Writer’s Burnout


So it’s a gorgeous day here in Victoria. I’m standing in my kitchen, sipping a cup of tea, and planning the rest of my week. What I should be doing is writing Book 10 of Claire and the Lady Billionaire, but what I have been doing is working on my website since I realized yesterday that the last time I updated it was just after I published Falling for Lucky which was back in December of 2018.

It’s a funny thing to have once been a web designer, a web marketer, and an SEO maven only now to completely disregard my web presence for months on end. Anyhow, I plan to do something about it this week.

Social media engagement is wildly more useful for an author trying to get their work and their persona out there than putting time and effort into a website that very few people will visit, but that doesn’t take away the need for the website to be at least current and professional looking.

In a perfect world, and by perfect I mean a world where there were two or three more hours in a day, I’d spend more time engaging on social media, writing little flash fictions for my website, and creating such things as podcasts and videos that made everyone, even myself, look and sound beautiful. But having the time and energy to do so is a whole other matter.

And while we’re talking about energy, let’s talk about a great post from well-known lesbian romance author Cara Malone, who yesterday tweeted that she was planning to take the last two months of 2019 off to recuperate and do a little self-care for a bad case of writer’s burnout.

Most adults in this world know what it’s like to be burned out. Writer’s burnout is that particularly weird state where your mind just does not want to be creative anymore. Unfortunately, it’s often accompanied by depression, which really sucks, and at this time of year, when the light is fading and the weather is about to get dreary and cold (at least for those of us in the northern hemisphere) you just want to hibernate, close the doors, turn off the computer, curl up in bed and give up on trying to turn lucid thoughts into deathless prose until the sun comes out again.

Cara’s post really resonated with me because I have been feeling burned out myself. It’s easy to when you have an active 6-year-old. The list of daily responsibilities for an active and engaged mother are nothing to be sniffed at. Add the pressures of needing to make a living and having to deliver something new and fresh and sexy every time you hit publish is a challenge that I feel every day. I have a lot of empathy and respect for people that are going through it and that are willing to talk about it publicly. Anyone that has a public face has to assert their human-ness now and then, otherwise all the things that cause burnout and self-destruction just continue to compound.

But what is burnout? Like what is it, really? Pressure to make every minute at the keyboard count, constant go go go, imbalance, not taking care of yourself, disappointment, anxiety, fear, feeling like an imposter, insomnia, all these things are what burnout feels like to me, and I’m curious to know if others feel the same way.

Perhaps this is why I find myself wanting to do anything but write this week. So, that is what I’m doing; writing a blog post, updating my website, editing old books and generally allowing my creative brain to have some much-needed rest and relaxation. To all the other authors out there that need to take some time for themselves, I hope you do, and I hope it’s glorious.


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