All authors are under pressure. Writing is hard work and to then switch to publicising that work is a difficult gear change for many. If you are an indie author, the pressures are magnified because you are your own CEO, your own publicist, your own everything. It takes a certain type of person to thrive in that environment but even the best of us can come unstuck.
Burnout is a danger in many walks of life and writers are prone to it. We live in our heads for one thing, we often have day jobs to support our writing for another and so we write around the day job when we are tired and often not at our best. If we are published, whether traditionally, hybrid or indie, there are other demands on our time. We need to keep abreast of new ideas and innovations, to be aware of strategies to assist with our writing, or the production of our books, or our sales, or connecting with our readers. We can easily become overwhelmed by all the information out there. It’s a tidal wave rushing towards us and it’s easy to get swamped. Information overload takes over.
Although many people would envy our achievements, we know the sacrifices it took to get there. We are also familiar with the pressures. It is a fine line to walk between being busy and pushing too hard.
We are all capable of working hard to finish a big project, throwing all of our mental and physical energy at something just to get it done. But what if the big projects just keep coming? We can only keep going at that pace for so long. Eventually we need to throw the off switch and have some down time and if we don’t our bodies will throw the off switch for us by making us sick.
How to recognise you are heading for or suffering from burnout:-
- The things that gave you pleasure now no longer please you.
- You have stopped writing anything new (this is different to suffering from writer’s block – that’s when you want to write but cannot because the words aren’t there). Here, you no longer even want to write.
- You are tired – mentally. All the time.
- Even the simplest tasks seem like hard work.
- You keep coming down with bugs and sniffles.
- You feel overwhelmed and inadequate.
- You are running just to stand still but are achieving less and less.
- You question why you ever started this in the first place.
- You want to stay in bed and pull the duvet over your head.
- Moving to a desert island with no wi-fi connection is suddenly an appealing option.
Sound familiar? This is where I found myself a couple of weeks ago.
Recognising the problem is half the battle. In the coming blogs, I will share with you what happened to me and how I am trying to combat it.
If you too have suffered with burnout at some stage in your career please get in touch and let me know what worked for you.