Tag Archives: burnout

Freelance Burnout, I Gots It.

by Diane Holmes, Marketing-Zone: Marketing Yourself and Your Book, founder of Pitch University.

paycheckThe Reality of The Dream.

DISCLAIMER:  If you’re still “super excited” about your writing, and know you’ll be “one of the best-known writers in the world,” skip this post.

You’re still living the dream.

Everyone else, follow me.

When you decided to become a writer…

… exactly how many YEARS did you expect to WORK 80-HOUR WEEKS (or on your 12-day vacation, like Jake Poinier )?

… how regularly did you expect to get REJECTED?

… did you think you’d BE MAKING LESS than your first corporate job out of college?

… did you picture yourself, years later, STILL being offered a LOWER RATE than you’re worth (see Joe Wallace’s article on negotiating your rates) , or having to explain, yet again, why your writing HAS VALUE?

…did you think of your DREAM as “that lovely source of UNRELIABLE INCOME?” (as Catherine Tully says in “Don’t quit your day job.”

But the heart wants what the heart wants.

And it wants to write.

dead cupid

Years later, when you’re a better writer than you’ve ever been, how do you deal with the realities of your writing career?

Seriously, shoot me now.

Is it that you’re still having so much fun that the rest pales in comparison?

What do you do when the fun has flatlined?  What do you do with reality when you’re burned out by it?

Burnout Resources

1) This HELPGUIDE is one of the better articles on the nature of burnout.

2) The Four Stages of Burnout.

3) Interesting definition of Workaholism vs. Work  Engagement.

4) Megan Hills’ excellent blog explores Burnout. As Megan says, “Burnout is the new black.”

Diane Holmes Crop 1Diane writes two columns for Freelance-Zone: Fiction-Zone: Leaps in Fiction Mastery and Marketing-Zone:Marketing-Zone: Marketing Yourself and Your Book.

She’s the Founder and Chief Alchemist of Pitch University

When Writing Is Rough…

by Catherine L. Tully

Freelance-Zone Editor, Catherine L. Tully
Freelance-Zone Editor, Catherine L. Tully

Everyone who is in this field experiences some rough patches. Times where they are blocked, discouraged, burnt out or just plain tired. This is normal, expected and healthy–so long as you don’t get stuck there.

Every career field has its ebb and flow, so down times are nothing to worry about. But if you are stuck in a rut, fried beyond repair (or seemingly so) or feeling really funky, it may be time to shift gears. Here are a few tips for getting through those dark times and coming out on the other side, refreshed and ready to go….

  • Give up. By give up, I don’t mean quit. I mean give up on trying to power through for a while and focus on something else. Can’t write that article? Put it aside and work on marketing yourself. Don’t have another query in you? Go through your old work and try and sell some re-prints. Sometimes going forward no matter what–just doesn’t make good sense.
  • Go away. Perhaps the cure is nothing but a simple change of scenery. Do you always write at home? Go to a coffee shop for a week and see if it replenishes your drive. Take your laptop to the park and set up shop for the afternoon–and write something fun. Getting out of a rut can sometimes be as easy as changing the background.
  • Get moving. If you’ve been sitting at a desk day after day, churning out copy, perhaps you need a little physical activity. Nothing beats depression like a brisk walk or bike ride to get those endorphins churning. Try it. You’ll see.
  • Get feedback. If you’re feeling down, sometimes talking with another writer can help snap you out of your funk. We’ve all been through hard times here and there and there’s nothing like someone in the “biz” to help you get some perspective on things.

What do you do to get out of a downward spiral? Help another writer and share a tip or two!