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Burnout or Block?

March 20, 2023

Writing is what I do. Not a day goes by that I don’t write something. Although I’ll confess, some days the motivation is I get to play with my fountain pens.

I usually have something in mind. On the rare occasion, I know I want to advance a work-in-progress but despite having an outline, sometimes I don’t know what to write. I’ve studied writer’s block enough to know the best remedy is to write something, anything. Getting the writing muscles in motion is often enough to break the block.

(And if you run into writer’s block, check out episode 11 of “Lady Blackwing Screws Up” in which Mercedes grapples with it.)

Recently, though, I wasn’t merely blocked, I was burned out. It was as if my Muse decided to go on a cruise and left me behind. Not only had I nothing to “say,” I couldn’t imagine ever writing again.

Several factors contributed to this, not the least being my discovery of Artificial Intelligence writing (see “Good or Bad?”, a previous blog post about this). A severe cold didn’t help. And since the cold made me dizzy I took a bad fall. I collided with several pieces of furniture and bruised myself badly.

So I took a break and spent a few weeks doing anything but writing.

Well, almost. I did stay on schedule with “Lady Blackwing Screws Up” on Kindle Vella. I didn’t want my slump to impact your enjoyment.

So there’s a fresh episode of “Lady Blackwing Screws Up” for your reading pleasure on Kindle Vella. Don’t miss “A Great Plan Foiled.” And if you need to catch up, remember that the first 3 episodes are FREE.

Long story short, writer burnout isn’t uncommon. Stress and exhaustion are contributing factors. The advice is to take a short, battery-recharging break by doing something completely different.

Try a different mode of expression like a craft or cooking. Go for a walk. Get away from the usual writing space. Do some chores, especially the ones that have been neglected.

It appears my Muse is back from her cruise. As soon as we finish looking through all her photos she’ll be asking me, “So, what did you get done while I was gone?” I’ll get The Look when I reply “nothing.” Better get busy!

I’ll sign up for April’s Camp NaNoWriMo. I can work on a new Lady Blackwing drama. And maybe toast up some s’mores.

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