Writer fatigue is real. It’s basically when you start to get blocked because you’re tired or drained. This can be caused by a variety of things such as tiring life events or writing a lot in a small period of time.
To be completely honest, I’ve been experiencing it a lot lately. Part of the reason why this blog has been stagnant is because I felt creatively tapped out. It’s weird because I didn’t have a problem producing for clients, but when it came to my own stuff, I was struggling to get words on the page. So, let’t turn this into a positive and talk about some tools you can use to handle writer fatigue.
Take a Break
How long of a break you need depends on how burnt out you are. Sometimes just taking a twenty minute power nap fixes everything. Sometimes you need to take a week off and just breathe. Really take the time to sit down and take stock of what you need. Be honest about how burnt out you are, and then adjust your life accordingly. Some exercise, whatever you can do safely, is probably a good idea too.
Go Back to the Basics
This can mean different things for different writers. For me, it typically means going back to reading fiction. I’ve noticed that when I don’t dedicate time to reading non-work-related books, I get burnt out faster. I have to feel happy and inspired. For you, maybe it’s working on a passion project that makes you feel more satisfied. Whatever it was about what you’re doing that made you happy in the beginning, go back to that for a little while.
Get Yourself a Group
Support is key. We live in a social world where you can find support from your living room. You can also go out and find a real group of writers or bloggers (such as through your library), but if you can’t find one, Facebook groups are the way to go. They’re great for support, and they’re great for information. Some of the groups I belong to are Sisters in SEO and Female Freelance Writers. I’ve learned a lot from both groups, personally and professionally. I also belong to The Write Life Community which is good for creative writers.
Break Things Down
I know. You probably have a million to do lists. How on Earth could you break it down any further? First, take that to-do list and write down low, medium, or high next to each item depending on how much emotional/mental energy that item is going to take. Once that’s in front of you, you can figure out how to tackle it. Maybe doing three easy things in a row will make you feel more relaxed so you can tackle a hard thing.
Before you do a high-energy task, break that task down into more manageable chunks. For instance, if you have to write a blog post, break it down to brainstorm ideas, come up with title, create subheadings, do research, and then the actual writing. Breaking things down like this might help those tasks feel more manageable, especially if you don’t need to tackle the steps one right after another.
Take Steps to Make Sure Writer Fatigue Doesn’t Happen in the First Place
Think about where you are right now. Who ever wants to be there? You’re tired. You’re emotionally spent. You feel uninspired and sluggish. Right? So, you probably want to avoid this in the future. You do this through boundaries and self-care. Do you really need to answer that email at 11 PM? Can’t it wait until morning? Ask yourself these questions as they come up. Drop whatever you don’t need to be doing, and practice self-care. This means eating right, getting exercise, and taking breaks. This means don’t work through your lunch. I see you. Stop that. Just eat your lunch, and take a breath. Figure out what makes you feel better, and do that every day.
Writer fatigue can feel awful, but it doesn’t last forever, and you can combat it.
Do you have any tips for combating writer fatigue? Comment below, and let me know!