Insecure Writer’s Support Group

That’s right, after more than a year of not taking part, I thought it’s time to sign up again.

For those of you wondering what this bloghop is about:

On the first Wednesday of every month, a (very large) group of us writers get together to share our insecurities and encouragements with other writers.

If you’d like more information or if you want to join, please click here.

What could I be insecure about? you might ask.

Well. Lots.

At the moment, I’m struggling with exhaustion. I don’t mean this in a medical sense or anything like that (I don’t think), but ever since the rough year I had in 2014, I’ve been trying my best to stay positive, stay strong and keep moving forward.

For the most part, I have to say I’ve done that, and I’m incredibly proud about that fact. But half way through the month, I’ve signed a contract for a new job which, although full-time, has flexible hours depending on the amount of work I need to do to meet my objectives.

Which means that, for all intents and purposes, I should have a great year in 2016.

But almost as soon as I was able to take my first real breath that didn’t feel like I’d get sucked under at any second, the exhaustion hit. I guess I’ve been so busy being tough and strong or whatever that the moment I didn’t have to be anymore, my energy gave out.

So although I’m used to setting huge goals every month, I decided to give myself a little break until January. You know, to rest and recover.

My muse has other ideas. I keep feeling these urges to get back to writing, but every time I finally get to the point where I can sit down and write, that exhaustion is back. And that means I’m constantly swinging between not wanting to write and wanting to write, while fearing that forcing myself to write will just end up pushing me into a full blown writer’s burn out.

(If you haven’t experienced burn out, you’re lucky. But let’s just say it’s a six month long writer’s block on steroids.)

I honestly have no idea about what I should do to rest myself out enough to start writing again. Or even if I should disregard my exhaustion and write anyway.

And now it’s 9:15 pm and it’s probably a good idea to just turn in and sleep.

Sigh.

How are you doing? What do you do when you’re exhausted beyond belief? Do you still write, or do you recharge those batteries? If the latter, how?

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39 thoughts on “Insecure Writer’s Support Group

  1. I hope you beat your exhaustion. You've had a busy time this year.

    With me, I just need to hide from everything (particularly my kids) to catch up on sleep. Maybe a few hours away from writing won't hurt.

  2. Welcome back! I think the older we get the harder it is to recover and bounce back to our former schedules. My 2014 was heartbreaking and so busy. The burnout is real.
    I think you are smart to limit your goals until your energy returns. Creativity needs energy.

  3. Like others have said – give yourself a break. I find it helps to do something different and fun. Like now & then I'll start a new drawing project that is pure self-indulgence, just 'cos I can. That's the biggest thing, you need to give yourself permission to look after yourself.

  4. I sometimes push myself to write despite exhaustion, but usually I give in. I need a nap or a good night's sleep. I notice that my sleep goes from normal to heavy if I've been doing too many things.

  5. Do something non-writing related. Go to the movies, visit a friend, binge of Netflix. Just find something fun to do and get on with your life. Sometimes you have to go through the snowstorm if you want to get to your front door.

  6. Congrats on the new job. I recently started one that sounds similar and finding time to write around it has been tricky, to say the least. I'm going to try and aim for a certain amount of words per day, even if small, rather than having sporadic binges. All I can say is give yourself time to have a rest and then look at things again, come up with a plan.

  7. When I get writing fatigue, I keep trying to write, and it keeps making me more tired and unhappy until I finally give up and go do something else for a while. Recharging the batteries—it's a goo thing to do once in a while.

    Which is why I'm taking the rest of the year away from it. With luck, I'll have a successful 2016 because of it.

  8. It sounds to me as though a break might be a good plan.

    Would it work to make notes, or dictate them, when your muse gets lively, but not do anything with them until next year?

  9. The obvious solution to fatigue will be rest and diversion of energy to some other thing which is not taxing your mind. Perhaps you should try a holiday and have a change of scene. Somehow, I wonder how can a writer take a holiday because even if you take a holiday the thought of writing will continue to haunt you. I suppose the best thing is to sleep and make an easy schedule for writing. Or perhaps this will be a golden opportunity to catch up with the books you have not read.

    Have you read the novel TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD BY HARPER LEE for which she got the Pulitzer Prize? Now another book that she wrote more than fifty years back GO SET A WATCHMAN has been published.

    Take care, best wishes

  10. I've been in your shoes, struggling with wanting to write (or feeling I should be writing) but too exhausted to write. I decided that it is okay to take a break. For me, that was in the form of getting lost in books and marathon binging on my favorite shows. I don't know about you, but forcing myself to write when my muse just isn't into it doesn't make for a productive or relaxing experience. And even though I may not be increasing my word count while I'm taking a break, ideas are still churning away in my head. This helps for when I do get back to writing.

    Congrats on your new job.

  11. I'm not sure what I would do…if the stories were calling I think I would feel it relaxing to write. Otherwise I'd just curl up and read 🙂 Congratulations on the new job!

  12. Welcome back. We're you're exhausted, there's not much you can do about it. Just take your time and get well again. That's when the creative juices will start flowing again. Good luck!

  13. Very important to take a break when we need it. If your muse keeps talking to you- you can always record what she says into an audio file (On a phone or talk into the computer typing program or something to get the ideas on record). Good luck and be good to yourself. 🙂
    ~Jess

  14. That kind of exhaustion is hard. It's like trying to climb a wall but there's a 600 pound backpack on you and there's no way you'll be standing anytime soon. So rest up. Watch a movie or something. Do a thing that will help you. Read a book, that always seems to help me.

  15. Sorry to hear about the burnout. We've both been there. We just rest and take time off. Better to recharge than burn yourself out even more. In fact, while everyone else was doing NaNoWriMo, we pretty much took the entire month off to rest. Now we're both on our next project and feeling completely refreshed. Good luck, and we hope your burnout goes away sooner than later!

  16. When I'm really tired, I like to take naps; I wish that adults could take naps at work the way that kids do in kindergarten and preschool. I think it's perfectly fine to give yourself a break, because exhaustion can be draining. If you still feel the urge to write, you could follow Meg Cabot's advice and just write a page a day; she said that even doing that will still result in a 365-page novel after a year.

  17. Swinging between not wanting to write and wanting to write is something I'm familiar with. Giving yourself a break is a smart idea. If you are getting ideas still (which is awesome) then just jot down the ideas so you won't forget them and leave it at that–unless you have the time and inclination to write more.
    Hugs.

  18. You have been through so much, Misha. It is understandable to be mentally exhausted. I think you definitely need a break, even if it's just a short one. For me, doing anything non-writing related usually helps. Even something physical, is a great escape from my mind. Perhaps watching all those movies you have missed out on over the years is one way to go. About the ideas, you can always write them down, or make notes on your cellphones with the voice recording function, so you can listen to it again, when you are ready to resume your writing. Don't feel bad for needing a break. We all need one from time to time, to return stronger.

  19. I'm with everyone that says to rest and recharge. While recharging may mean going on walks, gardening, painting or some other thing, you should do what it takes to avoid burnout. The job is important so you can support yourself, so don't do anything that would mess with that. Whatever feels good, do it and don't stress! Easier said than done, but it's worth a try.

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