While many writers take a lot of steps to prevent writer’s block, they tend to forget another problem that is far worse: writer burnout. Unlike writer’s block, which is temporary at best, writer burnout could lead to a person staying away from the writing profession altogether. If you want to avoid being one of the poor authors who have decided to change careers, here are 5 tips for preventing writer burnout:
1. Minimize Distractions When You Are Writing
If you’re writing, make sure you minimize the amount of things that will cause you to stop what you are doing, especially if it’s leading to numerous momentary breaks. This means you need to turn off the TV, ignore your SMS, and maybe uninstall the games in your PC. If you’re writing, just write and do nothing else. The reason for this is that constantly being distracted from your writing will prevent you from building momentum, and constantly expending energy to restart an aborted creative process will wear you out fast, much in the same way frequent sudden stops will wear out a car’s wheels.
2. Don’t Over Commit
It’s common sense that overusing something will lead to burning out, so it’s strange that many writers tend to overtax themselves; they take on as many clients as they can while maintaining their own personal projects, leaving time for nothing else. This is particularly dangerous because overworked writers will churn out poor quality work eventually, which will cause disappointment for both the writer and the clients, effectively cementing that writer’s career.
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3. Get Help
If you’re writing for a living, you know that the job entails work that has nothing to do with writing itself. You need to send invoices, communicate with clients, and work with designers, maybe even fiddle with html codes and hosting services. Needless to say that these are all distractions that will contribute to writer burnout. The solution here is to outsource your work. Maybe get a relative or a friend who can do the extra stuff for a small fee (or even for free, if you have a willing spouse). It may seem like very little work to them, but all of these minor tasks add up and make you more prone to burnout.
4. Set Limits
Freelance writers are more prone to this. Many of them embraced the profession because of the pitch that they can work “anytime” they want. Unfortunately this freedom ended up being their downfall because they tend to work as much as they want. It is good in terms of earnings, but it is temporary. Everything stops when the writer has done so much work that he/she can’t stomach anymore. What you should do is treat it like work: set a schedule for your work. Do your writing from nine to five and avoid overtime when possible, or if you want more flexibility in your work days, avoid working on weekends.
5. Go On Vacations
It also helps to remember that it doesn’t matter how much you like to do something, if that’s all you’re going to do day in and day out, you’re going to burn yourself out. So make sure you’re not writing all the time. Spend some time away from work. You can go to the beach, or take in the sights with your loved ones. Or if you’re not one for the outdoors, you can turn off the computer and play with your kids instead, or spend some time with your significant other and a really good movie. It will prevent you from being burned out by writing and may even boost your creativity a little, as you will be returning to your work with a fresh, relaxed perspective.
Image credit: Florian Simeth on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/hv1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of eBooks India. He is also a prolific eBook writer with over 25 titles to his name.[/author_info] [/author]