When Writing Becomes a Chore

Am I less of a writer when writing burns me out?

Of course not, in fact, “burning out” comes with the territory! It’s a fact of writerly life. I read a post by Chuck Windig that I thought was really helpful. Be warned, Chuck is very…colorful. 🙂

…BURNOUT

Problem: You flared up and burned out and now you’re naught but a crispy charcoal briquette. Your internal creative space looks like what’s left after a house-fire. You’re tired. Exhausted, even.

Solution: Jeez, take a break. Step away from the story or I’ll Taser you right in the naughty bits. Go reward yourself for working so hard. Have some ice cream. Go for a walk. Build a Lamborghini from the bones of your enemies. Don’t go away from your story for too long. A few hours. A day or two or three. We spend a ton of IEP (Intellectual Energy Points) on our work and our life, so go, recharge, let your creative juices once more pickle your headcheese. Then get back to work with fresh eyes. Bring coffee. Because coffee.

-Chuck Windig in his post

I may not be doing all of the…interesting suggestions that Chuck talks about…but I still have to find a creative outlet during my “burn outs”.

So I play on my violin (which may drive my neighbors nuts), go read, or play tons of video games. There’s something about each of those activities that really loosens me up. Maybe it’s because I’m focusing all of my “IEP” on something else. WHICH is the overall mission!

So what do you do when writing becomes a chore?

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10 Replies to “When Writing Becomes a Chore”

  1. Carol J Forrester – Carol J Forrester is a writer and a history geek. Her debut collection 'It's All In The Blood' came out November 2019. She has a 2:1 BA degree in history from Bath Spa University, enjoys judo at least twice a week, and tries to attend poetry events around the Midlands when she can. Her flash fiction story ‘Glorious Silence’ was named as River Ram Press’ short story of the month for August 2014 and her short story ‘A Visit From The Fortune Teller’ has been showcased on the literary site Ink Pantry. Her poems ‘Sunsets’ and ‘Clear Out‘ were featured on Eyes Plus Words, and two of her poems were included in the DVerse Poets Pub Publication ‘Chiaroscuro’ which is available for purchase on amazon.Her poem ‘Until The Light Gets In‘ was accepted and published at The Drabble and her poem ‘Newborn’ was published by Ink Sweat & Tears. She has been lucky enough to write guest posts for sites such as Inky Tavern and Song of The Forlorn and has hosted a number of guest bloggers on her site Writing and Works.
    caroljforrester says:

    Does thinking about how the heck you’re going to start researching your dissertation count?

    1. Desiree S. Brown – Earth, USA – I'm a fiction writer with common writer aspirations: selling/sharing my work, gaining tons of fans, world domination—strictly in that order.
      Desiree B says:

      Unless you consider it stress relieving 😛

      1. Carol J Forrester – Carol J Forrester is a writer and a history geek. Her debut collection 'It's All In The Blood' came out November 2019. She has a 2:1 BA degree in history from Bath Spa University, enjoys judo at least twice a week, and tries to attend poetry events around the Midlands when she can. Her flash fiction story ‘Glorious Silence’ was named as River Ram Press’ short story of the month for August 2014 and her short story ‘A Visit From The Fortune Teller’ has been showcased on the literary site Ink Pantry. Her poems ‘Sunsets’ and ‘Clear Out‘ were featured on Eyes Plus Words, and two of her poems were included in the DVerse Poets Pub Publication ‘Chiaroscuro’ which is available for purchase on amazon.Her poem ‘Until The Light Gets In‘ was accepted and published at The Drabble and her poem ‘Newborn’ was published by Ink Sweat & Tears. She has been lucky enough to write guest posts for sites such as Inky Tavern and Song of The Forlorn and has hosted a number of guest bloggers on her site Writing and Works.
        caroljforrester says:

        Not so much stress relieving. Definitely interesting though. I’m thinking about looking into the physical impact of a 18th/19th century landed family in Shropshire.

        1. Desiree S. Brown – Earth, USA – I'm a fiction writer with common writer aspirations: selling/sharing my work, gaining tons of fans, world domination—strictly in that order.
          Desiree B says:

          OooOooh, it sounds very smarty pants-y lol. I’m not to familiar with what you’re talking about but I hope you have fun looking into it 😛

  2. Burn out is such a horrible thing, but it does happen! When you put so much of yourself into writing and creative thinking, it’s bound occur.

    I try to avoid this by taking breaks on a weekend, no writing, no computer, no technology. I find this helps avoid it. Prevention is the best remedy they say, right? 😀

    1. Desiree S. Brown – Earth, USA – I'm a fiction writer with common writer aspirations: selling/sharing my work, gaining tons of fans, world domination—strictly in that order.
      Desiree B says:

      Makes sense. That way when you finally return to your writing you’ll have a fresh set of eyes.

  3. I wish I could play the violin! But I digress lol … I find that stepping away really does help though: reading, watching movies, or just doing anything else that can take your mind off those nasty plot holes for a while can help you come back with renewed energy, and sometimes with a solution that wasn’t too obvious at the time when you were stressing about it!

    1. Desiree S. Brown – Earth, USA – I'm a fiction writer with common writer aspirations: selling/sharing my work, gaining tons of fans, world domination—strictly in that order.
      Desiree B says:

      I’ve had this happen to me on a number of occasions. Then I wonder why I was stuck in the first place!

  4. I can’t say this is the way to go…I make myself sit at the computer and write or stare. I do this until I have a story. I get burned out during editing. It is beyond overwhelming. Good luck getting me back to the manuscript. The only thing that does is a deadline.

    1. Desiree S. Brown – Earth, USA – I'm a fiction writer with common writer aspirations: selling/sharing my work, gaining tons of fans, world domination—strictly in that order.
      Desiree B says:

      I see your point. Stepping away is a little bit like quitting, right? Wading through it sounds like the best option but, for me, it doesn’t always work. I need to take a breathier! Even for just a few seconds.

      And editing…ugh I’m beginning to feel the pinch! O.o

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