Burned Out

October 10, 2010

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen my recent Tweet about feeling burned out. For the past few months, I have been writing pretty much nonstop. I prefer to write at night, so I usually am up until one or two AM practically every night. Here’s a quick recap of what I’ve been up to:

1. Finished Project #1
2. Sent Project #1 to critique partner and began Project #2 while I waited
3. Received feedback for #1, made final edits, and submitted it (yay!)
4. Worked endlessly on #2 and fell in love with it
5. Came to the end of #2, fell out of love due to frustration over the ending, and stopped to write a short story

Well, I’ve finished writing the short story and after taking a break from writing for two nights, I opened up Project #2 last night and began tackling the ending…again. After working on it for an hour or two and writing various scenes and deleting them seconds later, I started to fall apart. Shaking my head and thinking, “I can’t do this”, I saved the document and closed it.

I’m a firm believer in writer’s block and I don’t follow the belief that you should just keep writing even if it’s not good. I don’t like to force things and if a scene is not flowing naturally, I’m not going to waste my time writing something I’m just going to delete later. I’m also not the kind of writer who can jump ahead and then go back to a certain scene. I have to write a story from beginning to end.

What I’m getting at is that I think I’m burned out. I feel like a bad writer saying that, but the ending for #2 is just not happening and I don’t want to bully it to work. 🙂  Maybe I need to spend some time just reading and reviewing, two things I haven’t been doing enough of. Or maybe this is the time to re-read Twilight, the book that started my journey as a writer, and relocate my inspiration and motivation. *Sigh*

Is it bad that I feel like I need to take a longer break? Am I a bad writer? I have a feeling deadlines are going to be my worst enemies.

  • Reply
    Mariam Maarouf
    October 10, 2010 at 11:13 am


    You’re not a bad writer (if you were, then I’d be a HORRIBLE one, and I don’t like to believe that). So, chill.

    We’ve all been through blocks, and I know how frustrating it can be since I just recently got out of one. The only thing that worked is relaxing and trying to forget the *stress* accompanied with the feeling of *deadlines*. I’m not a deadline person either, but I guess that’s just who we are. Why do you need to set deadlines for yourself? You shouldn’t if you don’t *have to*.

    Don’t try to write anything when you’re experiencing that block – I agree: it never comes out right.

    Just read, go out, go watch a movie or something, order your favorite dessert at some fancy restaurant – pull the thought out of your head. And while you’re reading, don’t do that terrible mistake of comparing, okay? Just trust me on this. Turn from an author to a reader for a couple of days. Celebrate finishing project #1.

    You’re a great writer; you wrote about TWO books – some people can’t get through the first chapter.

    Good luck. Do update us. 🙂 🙂

    I hope I helped.

  • Reply
    October 10, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    I don’t think you’re a bad writer at all. I work as a wedding stationer and I’m insanely busy from February to October and by the end of that, I’m completely burned out and don’t want to look at another invitation ever again. It goes away eventually and I get excited to design them again, but I think whenever you spend a ton of time working on something, it’s inevitable that you’ll get burned out at some point and will need to take a step back:)

  • Reply
    October 10, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    DJ, take a break! If it’s not happening, put it aside for a little while. When you’re on deadline for something, that’s one thing, but you’re not with this one and you’re just driving yourself crazy. It’ll come when it’s ready. And I think it’s probably a good idea to revisit something inspiring and motivating. 🙂

  • Reply
    DJ's Life in Fiction
    October 10, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Thanks for all of your encouraging comments! I appreciate your support. 🙂


  • Reply
    October 11, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Burn out is a true feeling of emotion and physical exhaustion. There is nothing wrong with treating yourself to something special and just breathing for a bit.

    Good luck with your novel. Judging by the amount of love and effort you put into your blog, your novel will be amazing – and your readers will feel it.

  • Reply
    Mariam Maarouf
    October 11, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    DJ, check this out. Was it written for you or is some magical force on your side these days? 😉


  • Reply
    October 12, 2010 at 2:57 am

    Hey, Twilight started my journey as a writer too.
    I’m sorry you’re feeling burnt out. I’d just take a break for a few days and see if inspiration comes. It’s hard to write under pressure.
    Alison Can Read

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