Home Freelancers 6 Easy Methods to Overcoming Your Writer's Burnout

6 Easy Methods to Overcoming Your Writer’s Burnout

We’ve all been there: looking at our laptop screens, knowing we need to write something, feeling the weight of deadlines on our shoulders – and being unable to produce a single word.

Writer’s burnout, eh?

Burnout, as opposed to writer’s block, is a specific emotion that occurs when you’ve been working so hard that a part of you just… quits. You just can’t force yourself to sit at the keyboard and work, no matter how much you need or want to get done.

Of course, getting away from it all is a terrific way to recharge your batteries, but for many of us, it is simply not an option. So, what should a professional freelancer do when the words run out? That’s what we’ll be discussing today.

1) Make little breaks a habit.

At its core, “burnout” is just a fancy word for “exhaustion,” therefore understanding how to be less exhausted is the most important step to curing it. True, it’s easier said than done.

However, even if we don’t have time for a complete vacation, there are often tiny ways we may reclaim some time and space for ourselves.

Whether it’s ensuring that you take lunch breaks and the rare day off, or simply making the most of a car journey or a shower, it’s critical to develop the moments when you’re not glued to your computer.

Take 5-15 minutes at least once a day, whenever possible, to:

Go take a stroll, practice some breathing exercises, read something for pleasure, spend some time in nature, or do anything else helps you to relax and focus your thoughts.

Still don’t believe you have enough time? At the very least, consider splitting up your day – for example, if you generally write in the morning, do some admin work or finally start building that portfolio.

Even changing up your tasks and doing things other than writing will help you create mental space.

2) Leave work at work.

Taking these tiny breaks won’t help you much if you spend the entire time worrying about the work and the burnout you’re not accomplishing. As a result, it’s critical that when you close the laptop and walk away, you truly go away.

This is perhaps the most difficult step in the entire article, and no one does it exactly every time. We’ve been conditioned to believe that any time we don’t work is a “waste” of potentially productive hours. It’s especially difficult to unplug as freelancers – working for ourselves, with all of the success duties on our shoulders.

Unfortunately, there is no “one strange method” to induce us to leave work and the burnout  at the end of the day. Despite your best attempts, it will come back to bother you at times, but here’s a helpful hint: Have something else on your mind. Picking a different topic ahead of time — whether it’s chores, a nice email, or rearranging your Animal Crossing island — allows you to refocus your thoughts whenever work creeps back in.

3) Restock the creative well.

This is undoubtedly advice you’ve heard before, but it’s so crucial that it bears repeating.

Now that you’ve taken some time for yourself and cleared your mind of work-related stress, it’s time to rekindle your creative spark.

You should already be doing some leisure reading at this point. So you’re thinking you’re all set. Now that the task has been completed and the item has been checked, it’s time to move on to the next one, right?

Wrong!

While reading should be a part of your creative process, it should not be the only one. Consume a variety of art forms other than your own, whether it’s visual arts, music, performance art, or film. When it comes to rekindling your creativity, think outside the box.

Can you try your hand at graphic design? Is it possible for you to attend a photography class? Step by step, your creativity will want to return to you.

4) Create an experimental piece.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to design a completely new type of prose. This just indicates that you should try some writing outside of your comfort zone.

While writer’s burnout is mostly caused by exhaustion, it is also caused by fatigue from repeating the same thing over and over again. Giving yourself permission to reconnect with the joy of writing in the first place is one key to rebuilding a healthy writing habit, and the best way to do that is to break your mold and attempt something new.

So, instead of writing SEO text and “how to” articles, try your hand at writing a short story or poem. If you’re a novelist, try combining it with a personal essay. Try your hand at writing a novel or two, screenwriters. Whatever piques your attention but isn’t part of your regular writing routine will suffice. 

New forms, styles, and writing prompts open our imaginations to new ways of looking at how words build on one other, allowing us to apply new talents to familiar work – not to mention a fresh new energy.

5) Break down your tasks into manageable chunks.

Now that you’ve had your fill of pleasure, it’s time to get back to climbing that mountain.

Returning to work, whether after a brief respite or a longer vacation, can be stressful. 

There’s a particular creative flow that comes with being busy, and it takes a lot of effort to regain that momentum once you stop. What’s the catch? Breaking down the task till it feels manageable once more.

Consider this: You are not climbing a mountain. You’re not even taking a walk. You’re not even concerned about going outside. Instead, you’re changing into appropriate hiking attire. You’re putting on your boots now. 

Have you finished filling your water bottle? That is your sole responsibility. Is it necessary for you to stretch? Concentrate on stretching. Even if you get to the bottom of the mountain, don’t look up.

Take a deep breath and enjoy the breeze on your face. Simply put one foot in front of the other and begin walking.

If you got the burnout and don’t write articles, you won’t be able to become a freelance writer. Similarly, you will not become a novelist if you do not write that novel. But here’s the good news: no matter what kind of project you’re working on, the peak will always be there for you, waiting for you to reach it. However, the only way to get there is to take one step at a time.

6) Deceive yourself into being productive.

If everything else fails, try the “10-minute” trick.

What exactly is it, you ask? It does precisely what it says on the label: Set a timer for 10 minutes and tell yourself that the only things you can do are write or do nothing at all.

This is effective on two levels. Even the most difficult and unpleasant work can generally be completed in within ten minutes. The barrier to entry is so low; it’s much simpler to sit down and say, “You know what, I can do that,” when you say you’ll work for 10 minutes rather than an hour.

But, maybe more crucially, sitting and staring at a blank screen, even for “only” 10 minutes, is extremely boring. You’ll probably find yourself writing for the sake of having something to do.

The most important thing to remember when attempting this getting rid off burnout technique is to ensure that it is truthful. If you haven’t completed any work by the end of your ten minutes, get up and do something else for a few minutes before trying again. It doesn’t work if you claim 10 minutes but know in your heart that you’ll be there until the assignment is completed, no matter how long it takes.

But, maybe more crucially, sitting and staring at a blank screen, even for “only” 10 minutes, is extremely boring. You’ll probably find yourself writing for the sake of having something to do.

The most important thing to remember when attempting this technique is to ensure that it is truthful. If you haven’t completed any work by the end of your ten minutes, get up and do something else for a few minutes before trying again. 

It doesn’t work if you claim 10 minutes but know in your heart that you’ll be there until the assignment is completed, no matter how long it takes. Nine times out of 10, you’ll start working without even realizing it — and get into a flow that continues long after you’ve turned off that timer.

Source: Freelance union

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About Skyhigh.Vip  

Skyhigh.Vip is a global institutional investor with a vast interest in Arts / Construction / Education / Business Services / E-Sports and various other growth industries.  

Several of its popular portfolios include GO Chambers which is the world’s largest business chamber listing provider with over 30,000 active chambers as its members.  

Flexgigzz is the Asia leading marketplace for freelancers service and together with SOHO Learning Hub which is an online platform for short courses and both of them aims to be the number one provider in Asia. For growth industries such as E-Sport Authority which is dedicated to providing independent media coverage to all E-Sport News related from around the world and for the art world, there is Atelier Auction which is an investable art auctioneer and being in the art scene for decades.

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