The importance of taking a break is one that I think most authors ignore.
we get so wrapped up in the characters, we forget that hopping from story to story and world to world will always cause a burn out.
That burn out will look different for everyone. It’s taken me 5 years of writing to realize what it looks like for me.
thoigh I first wrote in second grade, writing to publish only began in 2015. I was so stoked I just kept going. The ideas came and came, and my publisher continued to accept them.
it wasn’t until late spring 2020 when I became sick with my mystery illness that I took my first break.
I couldn’t write. I was terrified every day over why I couldn’t swallow. The characters were there, but even if there was some free time without doctors and surgeries, there wasn’t the mental time.
like all indie authors and small businesses, I needed a break. Unfortunately, the break all but vanished my career. I had 40ish books published, but with no marketing on my part and no releases I became invisible. My anxiety grew, and I wondered if I’d ever publish again because it’s incredibly expensive. Yes, I could suck it up and start querying, but I’ve become accustomed to instant publishing and (mostly) full control.
fortunatley, we know I’m not dying or in severe danger, and so in late 2021 I began to write again.
Starting back up opened up a flood gate. From November 2021 until today I’ve written: 2 full lengths, 2 novellas, and 5 shorts.
so where does my point about burnout come in? I’m the last 23 days I’ve only written 15k. I love the story I’m writing - it’s a less written genre for myself and I was excited by the outline.
I’m not super busy at home - but spring sports are in session. My husband still doesn’t grump when I say I need to write instead of something else if I’m deadline. So what happened?
I burned myself out. I no longer want to sit down and type. I want to be outside playing with my son, seeing movies, making memories. I want to tell the story, but the drive to have to type it out has poofed.
Am I blocked? Not at all. I hear Annika and Connor shouting at me a ton. I just keep ignoring them.
at the end of the day, I needed a break. I hopped between too many different worlds too quickly, and spent too much time in front of the screen.
Burn out will look different for everyone. It will last differently for everyone. More importantly, it will impact releases differently.
im fortunate this book isn’t due to readers (arc readers) until May 20. So there’s a month for my to get my bum in gear, or I can even skip ARC readers.
so why am I rambling? Is it because it’s been a month since I blogged? No. It’s because there’s immense pressure on authors to pump out work quickly. It can cause burn out, poor stories, and so much more.
authors, even trad pub, have to do so much on their own. It’s a constant worry that we’ll fall into the cracks. Please be patient if your favorite author it’s not making TikToks or has to push a release a tiny bit.
What does burn out look like for you? How do you find your groove again?
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