You have no doubt felt it weighing on you. That ever-present pressure that keeps you from progressing, that burden which stands in your way. The writer’s burden is a tough emotional and mental strain. In order to combat this problem, I walked the path so many writers have. Allow me to point you in the right direction; this is how you deal with the writer’s burdens.
1. The Grind
The grinding action of writing everyday is often tedious, pushing you to constantly work as results aren’t ideal until the book is done. With that in mind, there is an almost depressing similarity between writing and an average 9-to-5 job. Some beginner writers don’t realize this and writing begins to grind them down.
While writing has its days of tedium and the feelings of deja-vu can begin to set in, you have to understand that this is no ordinary career. You are in the creative field, much like an artist or an actor; you are an author. Ready to write the next best-seller or to put that rough diamond of a story in your mind, onto paper.
Dealing with the Grind:
When it comes to working with the grind, you need to start having fun with the time you do have not writing. I know, not an inspired solution, but it is common sense that is often ignored. The charm of writing may be ever-present in the beginning stages, but like all careers, writing is a job given enough time. Allocate some free time to ease your mind and relax. Variety helps with these moments and that’s how you beat the grind.
2. The Block
Let’s suppose you have tackled the first solution and writing is no longer a grind. You are showing variety in your free time as well as your writing. New and interesting ideas are being developed and worked on, you are finding that spark of enjoyment and interest in writing that you may have lost.
However, you hit the block. The block that keeps the cogs from turning and the story flowing. A lack of ideas or perhaps struggling to develop the next stage of your novel is common, but the solutions are often crippling the process further than solving it.
Dealing with the Block:
You can’t approach writer’s block with the same sense of sheer willpower that other writers boast. You can’t also up-and-leave writing so hastily either. Often it is easy to a novel for a short time and return, but too long and it is difficult to get back into the swing of things. How do you deal with writer’s block?
Friends, family and old-fashioned reading. The opinion of others can help you or at least get the creative juices flowing. These ideas or inspiration can come from the great people in your life or perhaps the books you enjoy.
3. The Burnout
It is so easy to be hit with burnout. You have beaten the grind, pushed through the writer’s block, but you are only human. Constant mental strain when working on something as a book constantly or perhaps the added stress of other work can lead to burnout.
Burnout, similar to writer’s block, brings the process to a halt. However, unlike the writer's block, burnout cannot be handled so easily so it comes down to you as a writer to find the fire that keeps you going.
Dealing with burnout:
Writing is a career choice that many creative minds consider and jump straight into. However, some lack the true passion for the work. That is a thought we discuss in a later point, but it is no doubt the thought that crosses the mind of a writer suffering burnout.
There is no fantastic formula or quick cure that cuts burnout and gets you writing again. You can try and push through it with sheer willpower, but burnout is majorly an emotional strain as well. In these cases it is best to give yourself some time before you return to writing.
4. Losing Energy
The passion for writing is something that is often thrown around, but nobody really gives it a moment to decide on how it affects the person. It gives you that energy, that heart-felt desire to write. However, passion is a resource that can be burnt through so easily.
That energy, that love for writing, can be spent quickly and the writer is left with the shock that they don’t enjoy writing. Some wonder why they even started in the first place. However, the reality is, the writer destroyed that passion and thus, lost the energy, the will to continue writing.
Dealing with losing energy:
Like most things emotional, as losing the passion and energy to write is emotional, you need to approach the matter delicately. You are going through a lot at this moment if you find yourself losing that fire. However, hope is not lost and you can handle the problem effectively.
Your passion for writing, and the same can be said of anything you choose to do, needs to be treated carefully. Much like eating a bar of chocolate, you scoff it in an instant, but you are left without chocolate for later. You are left waiting till another bar of chocolate is in your hands, but if you savour and eat in moderation, you are never left without chocolate.
Write in moderation, revel in the experience and nurture it with reading. Don’t destroy your passion by suffocating it with attention or soon you will find it’s no longer there.
5. The Big Picture
Life is filled with responsibilities and risks. You, as a growing adult if you are not one already, have many stressful tasks to complete and no, they can’t be pushed aside. However, writing has become an important part of your life.
You are left choosing writing or responsibility too often and may inquire what you should do. Perhaps you are to abandon social ties, let your healthy life-style go, or stop writing, at least for a little while. Of course, writing being a difficult career to earn from, there are also financial concerns.
Dealing with the big picture:
There’s no way around it. If you are looking for life-advice, I have none to give you. You are aware of this burden and so is every writer. I would say take it one day at a time, but there are those days that will push you too far.
Writing can be a lucrative career for those talented and lucky enough, but for most, it is something that requires full time attention. If writing is only a hobby, then writing should be low on your list of priorities. However, if writing is your passion on the way to becoming a career, you need to decide and hopefully decide soon, if you are willing to take the risk.
With that question in the air, I am telling you now there are some heavy disadvantages to being a writer, but with attitude alone, you can make it work. As cliche as it sounds, the phrase ‘never give up’ applies to writing so well. If you have it in you and are ready to place faith in yourself to make writing work, then you already have your answer.
Thank you for finishing this article. I had a lot of fun writing it and I hope you truly enjoyed it. There are many things you will learn from the writing experience and the 150 above are only a few.
As a big thank you I would like to offer you something for FREE!
A writing course on how to improve your main character!
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Thank you very much for reading!
Matthew Dewey, Writer & Writing Instructor
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