Being a working writer can be hard, exhausting, and feel fruitless, but there are ways to help yourself. This is a lesson I had to learn along the way. Burning out is serious, I suffered it, and I’ve been on a mission to help others stop before they burn out themselves. I have written about the dark side of being creative on demand in an article here on the website entitled The Dark side of being ‘Creative on Demand’, if you’d like to read about my burn out journey and what I learned then. I recommend it.
I’m here to bring to you some more help on this topic, things I’ve learned since the previously mentioned post happened. Things that have helped me that may help you.
Schedule time in your day for writing. Sometimes this could be as small as a ten-minute break in the day, during a lunch period, or an hour. Planning and sticking to a schedule can have significant results in that manuscript getting done and accomplishing goals.
Turning Off/Closing Off
You can become quickly overwhelmed if you have a lot of chaos going on. From a cellphone that doesn’t stop going off to not having a quiet space, turn off the cellphone (if you can). I even recommend going as far as posting a sign outside your work space to let others know you need the quiet. If your space has a door, shut it.
Set Your Environment
To piggyback off of the above tip, you can also set up your space to optimize your productivity. Like candles and incense? Light one. Struggling with a scene? Why not listen to some cinematic music or your favorite film’s soundtrack? Sometimes the music helps to create a headspace, this may be the perfect place to help you write.
Get Out Of Your Head
This is something I didn’t realize I had done until someone mentioned it to me. When struggling with your writing space, sometimes you need to get out of it to get out of your head. It completely made sense to me I would move around especially if I’ve struggled for a long time at my desk, it becomes a focus of frustration and in order to push through I had grabbed a notebook, pencil, and found a spot on the floor in a completely different area of my home. You can also go outside or even to your favorite cafe to improve your headspace.
Exercising is great for your health, both physical and mental wellness. It will also give you a boost of energy. Sitting at a desk for hours isn’t good for you, the risk for blood clots increases. In this article from Mount Sinai titled: Can I get a blood clot from sitting at my computer? It explains how sitting for long periods can affect your health in a more medical way.
Whether it is a few words, paragraph, or even a chapter rewarding yourself can help you continue through the long writing process. Setting a small goal to accomplish and rewarding yourself for goal achieving is motivation. I pulled this from my college days and began applying it to my working periods.
Remind Yourself You’re Amazing
You know how amazing you are? You’re a writer! You are a creator of worlds. That’s amazing. Look in a mirror and tell yourself you’re amazing, that you’re a talented writer, and that you can and will get through this.
Talking to other writers may very well be something that you need. It may even surprise you to find out they’ve been right where you are before. Feeling not alone can help us through hard times, don’t be afraid to reach out and talk to someone.
Thank you for this. It was just what I needed to read right now.