I Was Burned Out for 2 Weeks — Lesson to Be Learned if You Are A Writer
The methods are pretty simple. But as you all know simple things are the hardest to deal with.
I have been writing for more than 1 year now. During this time, I never faced burnout. No matter how hard I worked or how much content I produced daily, unimaginably burnout never happened to me. If I look back as it was the initial days I was too much in love with writing; which is why I never faced any overwork-related issues.
But as you keep doing the same thing for longer the craze for work never stays the same. The hype keeps decreasing. And it can happen with your most loved passion of yours too.
I think that is the case for me. Nowadays I do feel the craze/drive for writing is no more that much. Although I love writing and write almost daily, but there are some days/weeks I do not feel like writing. Trust me, this was never the case before (i.e on my darkest days I used to write).
Why I was burned out?
The reason is simple — overwork. Before I burned out I worked way too hard to keep putting out content. On top of that I wanted to expand my work outside of Medium which is why I was focusing on LinkedIn, my own blog, creating a new product on Gumroad, and also pumping out 3 blogs a week on Medium.
I was almost working every waking hour or thinking about work, had zero social life. I used to go out only on Sundays with my friends, and sometimes that was also sacrificed for work.
Focusing on so many things at a time was the main reason behind burnout. Just think — I used to write 2000–3000 words every single day, it may seem easy for some, but not me.
Because of all of that work for more than months I lost all my drive from writing. Even I can not believe — the guy whose brain used to be flooded with ideas, can not even produce one single article in those 2 weeks.
Habits I picked when I hated writing
Time equals money, right? Yes, it is. So we should treat it the way we manage money.
At that time I had zero interest in writing so I made sure to invest that exact time in something else. The only requirement was it should be worth replacing writing. So, I picked up reading.
My aim was not just to read and gather new information from fellow writers, I also wanted to learn about their writing style, techniques, storytelling, etc. So that I can use that when I will be able to write.
Except for reading, I started giving more priority to LinkedIn. I started engaging with other content writers and freelancers, talking with them, and asking them questions on how to grow. All of that was just to collect ideas in advance.
Except for replacing writing with other habits I gave more priority to my social life and break. I took straight 2 weeks off from writing, spend hours outside of my house, and enjoyed Durga Puja with family and friends. In those 2 weeks, the present was more important to me that the future. Maybe that is why I found joy in every moment.
Thanks to that much-needed break I am again back on track with more ambition and energy.
Things you can do to avoid burnout
The tips I will provide are nothing different from what the whole online world says. Because trust me those are the only way to avoid it. So, here they are.
- Find a balance between work and break. Both are necessary.
- Nature can cure the brain.
- Fix your working hours and do not open work-related stuff before or after that.
- Whenever you feel off, do not force yourself. Go spend some time with close ones.
- Remember your mental health is more important than the algorithm.
- Start working out, even if it is for 15 minutes.
- Have homemade healthy foods at least 5 times a day. The rest 2 days are for fun (with a limit).
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I Was Burned Out for 2 Weeks — Lesson to Be Learned if You Are A Writer was originally published in The Writing Cooperative on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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Author: Suvadeep Paul