Okay, I’ll go first.
YES – I have a form of Writers’ Burnout that is quite alarming.
For the past six weeks or so, every time I write a Blog post, I get tired – or distracted – or suddenly feel like I must do something that takes me away from my den AND keyboard.
‘Mustang Patty Talks Writing’ hasn’t been tended to for quite some time.
I’ve kept myself busy with the production of Anthologies and reading the work
of OTHER WRITERS!
So, I needed to formulate a plan. (Because I’m great about following procedures. They are, after all, the roadmap to success. (Did I coin that phrase?? Or steal it from somewhere? Hmmm)
I plan to return to my daily writing sessions, Post a minimum of three Blogs per week on my website, and write and edit at least one short story per month.
But a PLAN without the steps isn’t worth the paper you write it on…
Start READING again.
I haven’t sat down with a good book and just ‘fell’ into it in too many months to remember. I have a stack of fiction books to read – I just need to sit down and permit myself to get lost in another world, INSTEAD of reading non-fiction books on writing or blogging.
I’ve read in several articles that when a writer is tired and overwhelmed – for whatever reason- they stop reading. (After all, that isn’t productive – right?)
And then what about when you are on a crucial deadline? More often than not, you will concentrate on the current project – or maybe you can’t – because your focus is off, and you have that ‘I just can’t get into this book’ feeling.
It all comes down to how your brain views writing – any writing – when you’re reading now, you aren’t just reading for pleasure – you’re evaluating the plot, the syntax, and it feels like ‘work.’ That’s because you haven’t shut down your ‘writer’s brain.’
So, when you DO start reading again, you need to turn off the ‘writer’s brain, and read with an unrestricted sense of pleasure. You could try reading some titles that you consider your personal favorites – it will be a relaxing project because you are familiar with the storylines.
Find your rhythm in a Ritual rather than a Routine
We’ve all heard the whole thing about setting up a specific space where you write and maybe even set a particular time. The problem with all of that is that it becomes a routine.
Wouldn’t it be better if you made it a Ritual?
Even the thoughts behind the word conjure up something exciting. A routine can be too mundane and too exhausting. In comparison, a ritual can put you in the right mood to write.
Remember: Routines are about time; Rituals are about YOU.
We all have our own guilty pleasures. Some of us will take a warm shower, perhaps a short walk in the park, or even something as simple as making a nice cup of coffee.
If you need to connect the Ritual with your writing, perhaps you could start it in your writing space. Maybe reading over the last few pages you wrote, or make longhand notes in a special journal.
Whatever gets you in the right frame of mind to write.
Start Small (But Be Consistent)
The recovery of your Creative Energy is much like recovering from a physical or psychological mishap. The process can’t be rushed. It’s all about taking that first small step towards reclaiming your power as a writer.
When you’re starting to get on the writing train, your goals can be very small at first and, as you bulk up that writing muscle that has atrophied, you can become more ambitious.
Perhaps it could be something as simple as setting a timer for ten minutes and writing about a Daily Prompt that you have stored somewhere. (Look on the internet and download one of the many lists – but then close your browser!)
Finding your writing voice again will take time, but it is possible.
So, I will be posting blogs again – I’ve been working on the ones for August over much of the end of July!
Welcome to my next series of blogs.