“Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.” - Etty Hillesum
L. Diane Wolfe is also known as “Spunk on a Stick.” She’s an author, a speaker who conducts seminars on promoting, leadership and goal setting, and a photographer. I can tell from the comments on my last post that many of you have been looking forward to her guest blog on the topic of burnout as much as I have, so let’s get to it.
Passion is described as setting yourself on fire and inviting the world to watch you burn.
But what happens when we burn too hard for too long?
We get BURNOUT!
There are many forms of burnout. Writers can experience burnout and lose interest in their work. An author on tour experiences burnout after too many activities, either physical or online.
Few of us experience writing as the sole activity in our life. We have families. Many have jobs and businesses. We have friends, church, and organizations. We enjoy hobbies, pets, and other activities. And at some point, we require food and sleep!
The best option is to avoid burnout in the first place. As writers, we have several choices. Procrastination is the enemy of deadlines. If we tackle a project head-on and plan our daily goals, we avoid the pressure of a looming deadline and an incomplete task. We can keep more than one project in the works - if one loses our interest, we can switch to a new WIP. Often when we complete a large body of work, we are too burned out and tired to think of a new piece right away, but planning the next major project ahead of time will alleviate that problem.
Authors can experience burnout after a heavy tour schedule. The best way to avoid this is to maintain control of our calendar. We need to understand our limits and know when to say no. Physical appearances are draining, in terms of both the event and the travel. Don’t book too many events and weigh each new opportunity carefully. Virtual appearances also require a great deal of time and preparation. Overlapping physical and virtual appearances can really add to the stress, so it’s best to keep those two separate whenever possible. Most important, allow time for breaks.
Despite the best-laid plans, burnout can still occur. Our fire fizzles and we lose enthusiasm. It’s time to stop, drop, and roll!
Burnout occurs on many levels - physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. When our body and heart tells us we are reaching the end of our resources, we need to take a break. If we are frustrated with our writing or exhausted from appearances, we need to stop and recharge our batteries. This may be as simple as an activity at which we excel. We can take a vacation. We can try a new experience. We can read a book, insert some physical activity into our life, meditate, or spend time with family. We can seek out someone who inspires and uplifts us.
Whatever we choose, we need to remove ourselves from the stressful rut and refresh our outlook on life. It’s better to lose a little momentum than completely crash. If we set a goal before we take our break, we’ll find it’s easier to get back on track when we return, too. We still have too much to accomplish to burn out now!
Thank you for the good advice and tips, Diane.
Readers, are you suffering from burnout? If so, how do you plan to tackle it?
Heather, the fifth book in the series, The Circle of Friends, was recently released and can be found on Amazon and other online bookstores, along with Books one through four of The Circle of Friends series and her non-fiction book, Overcoming Obstacles with Spunk.
Find out more about L. Diane Wolfe and her books at http://www.spunkonastick.net/ http://www.thecircleoffriends.net/ and http://www.circleoffriendsbooks.blogspot.com/.
Thanks for stopping by today.
Tags: Etty Hillesum , L. Diane Wolfe, burnout , procrastination, stress,