Writing burnout? Here’s a great story on how to fight it
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. So I’m extremely grateful that I make my living solely through writing. I’m fortunate in that I don’t have to work any side jobs: Writing is my real job, and it pays the bills. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t days in which I hate writing.
This summer was especially tough. Every writing job I had felt like torture. Whether I was writing about how 20-somethings can start building their retirement savings at an early age or how robotics is making the manufacturing process more efficient, each assignment felt like a true grind.
I was burned out. And this isn’t surprising: Freelance writers today have to write more to earn a decent living. When I started as a freelancer — way too many years ago — I could get by with writing, say, 10 stories a month. Granted, these were longer, more research- and reporting-intensive stories, but I wasn’t juggling so many deadlines and assignments. Last month, to reach my writing income goal? I had to turn in 25 stories. Again, some were short and didn’t require any interviews and little research. Still, cramming so many stories into a month is draining.
What can you do to fight burnout as a freelance writer? I don’t know. But here’s what I’m doing: I’m focusing more on my fiction and comics writing, making sure I don’t leave this work until the very end of the day when I’m more likely to be too tired to even want to look at a blank page waiting for words. That’s why I’m posting more on this site. It’s also why I’ve started posting my latest comic project, Third Weel, here and here.
What should you do? I think it’s all about finding your passion. I’m far more passionate about creating comics and writing fiction than I am about my normal journalism work, even though that work pays the bills.
Here’s a great story to check out in the Washington Post, Five ways freelance writers can fight burnout. There are plenty of great tips in here for writers who are, like I was, suffering from extreme burnout.