Burnout or Writers Block

  • By: Jessica Faust | Date: Mar 31 2022

For as long as I’ve been in publishing I’ve had conversations with authors about writer’s block. Not just the fear of it, but the experience of feeling blocked and unable to write. The ideas won’t come or when they do they’re so jumbled you can’t get them down on paper. But as we continue to live in difficult times and more and more people are struggling with burnout not just in their professional lives, but in their personal lives as well, I have to ask. Are you struggling with writer’s block, or are you suffering from the very real effects of burnout?

We all do too much. We all carry too much and none of us are great at boundaries. Even if you say you are, allow me to give you this out. Because I bet you could and would like to do even better. You might be great at saying no to additional things at work, but weigh yourself down when it comes to your personal life. You might be just the opposite, turning down things right and left in your personal life, but checking email at 9pm because you feel you need to be there.

Writers are no different and maybe even worse. Because for many of you writing is not yet giving you a big enough income to ditch the day job. So it’s what you’re doing in addition to the day job, your personal obligations, and everything else you say yes to when maybe you should have said no.

A Break from Burnout

If you’re finding yourself struggling to write instead of following all the old-school advice to just sit and write, give yourself a break. Look at all your doing in your life and all you’re carrying emotionally and allow yourself rest.

My best writing for this blog is done while on long walks with Olive. That’s when my mind roams without pressure and I come up with ideas. I note them on my phone and sit down later to write. As some of you might have noticed, sometimes much later. Lately, I too have been struggling to find words. Between leading BookEnds, working with clients, and trying to live life away from the computer, sometimes the words just won’t come. And it’s okay. Because I know eventually they will, but I need to give myself space, time, and rest to be ready for them.

Burnout is real. So is writer’s block. Allowing yourself time to heal and to say no, will open you up not just to writing again, but to a healthier and happier life.