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Thread: How to cure burn out?


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Permlink Replies: 20 - Pages: 2 [ 1 2 | Next ] - Last Post: Jun 9, 2012 9:02 AM Last Post By: lins777
lionessinthemir...

Posts: 573
Registered: 08/29/10
How to cure burn out?
Posted: Jun 8, 2012 8:51 AM
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I'm 36,000 words into a 55,000-60,000 word novel and I've hit the wall. So many things I could do: work on a different chapter, do some editing, work on something entirely different.

The problem is I don't want to write another word...any word of any kind...even this...

Lioness
fuzzybluetoesock

Posts: 156
Registered: 06/01/11
Re: How to cure burn out?
Posted: Jun 8, 2012 9:10 AM   in response to: lionessinthemir... in response to: lionessinthemir...
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When I get that way, I take a day or two off, but the payment for that vacation is that I have to either edit for two hours straight or write at least 2k words the next day.
paul105432

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Re: How to cure burn out?
Posted: Jun 8, 2012 9:10 AM   in response to: lionessinthemir... in response to: lionessinthemir...
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Re-read the books that first inspired you as a reader.
campcomms

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Re: How to cure burn out?
Posted: Jun 8, 2012 10:30 AM   in response to: lionessinthemir... in response to: lionessinthemir...
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I haven't followed this forum closely, so I don't know you from Adam. I don't know if you've written a hundred novels or none ... if you write novels for a living or fun ...

I have a large number of beginnings to novels I have lost inspiration with. I have just gone on to something else. I have also come back to one or more of them and finished them.

Your problem sounds more serious if you want to give up half way through.

Maybe this work has run its course and there is no more to it, even if you have it outlined.

And I guess you feel so burned out you don't want to go on writing at all.

Give yourself a vacation from writing. As a respondent said, read more. After some time hopefully you will feel refreshed. If not, talk it over with friends who know you write. I don't think we writers can give you a great answer in this forum ... unless we write you a ton of words. You probably need spoken dialogue.

You'll come back. I'm sure you will.
keithrogan

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Re: How to cure burn out?
Posted: Jun 8, 2012 10:33 AM   in response to: lionessinthemir... in response to: lionessinthemir...
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Two words; cocaine, hookers.
tracihilton

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Re: How to cure burn out?
Posted: Jun 8, 2012 10:37 AM   in response to: campcomms in response to: campcomms
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have you ever done a list of 100 brainstorm?

Set aside some no distractions time and list 100 things without stopping... in your case 100 things that could happen in the next 20k words of your story. Experts say the first 30 will just be circular thinking, the next 40 will be pretty normal ideas and the last 30 will be gold, your brain will have woken up and accessed the really good, creative ideas.

Maybe with 30 new really fantastic ideas you will find one or two that you just have to write!

I just did this for my newest mystery because I needed some more meat to the story. I found more good ideas to flesh it out than I needed!

Traci
diamondlifestyle

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Re: How to cure burn out?
Posted: Jun 8, 2012 11:22 AM   in response to: keithrogan in response to: keithrogan
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I'm with you!
cdhussey

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Re: How to cure burn out?
Posted: Jun 8, 2012 12:08 PM   in response to: keithrogan in response to: keithrogan
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Yes! Though I could do without the hookers. Maybe some strippers?

To the OP. Take some time off and do something fun (see above post about cocaine and hookers). I've been writing daily for the last two years. I'm not burnt out, but then I don't push myself too hard. My WIP is the last of the series I have out, and while I have it outlined, I'm struggling to sit down and write more than a couple hundred words a day. You know what? That's fine. It'll still get written and I won't despise it. And hopefully, my trip to New Orleans next weekend for a wedding (where the series takes place) will get my juices going again.
writeranne

Posts: 540
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Re: How to cure burn out?
Posted: Jun 8, 2012 12:10 PM   in response to: lionessinthemir... in response to: lionessinthemir...
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Sounds like a case of writer's block to me.

Step away from the keyboard and your book for a week or more. Take a drive in the country. Do anything else that you enjoy. But whatever you do, DO NOT force yourself to write!

I cringe when I hear people say they lock themselves in their room for X hours a day and "make" themselves write.

Yes, writing does take a good amount of structure and effort, but once you find that you are dreading the task of writing and are having to force yourself to do it, that, my friend, is the time to walk away and take some time off, because when you write under this forced pressure, your writing will suffer for it.

Writing comes from inspiration and inspiration is not something that you can manufacture at will. It is not something you can turn on and turn off for X hours a day.

Don't give up on yourself. I can't tell you the times I've had to "just walk away" from my writing over the past 25 years. But, sooner or later something always inspires me to get back to it.
jeanetteraleigh

Posts: 2,292
Registered: 05/30/11
Re: How to cure burn out?
Posted: Jun 8, 2012 12:44 PM   in response to: lionessinthemir... in response to: lionessinthemir...
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It's okay to take a few days off. If you don't want to work, don't force it. On memorial day weekend, I didn't want to do a thing. Just didn't feel like it. The words weren't there, I was uninspired. So I let myself have the whole weekend without writing, editing or anything.

Well, the next weekend, I was driving home Friday and suddenly had the super juice to write, thus bringing on the 10,000 word weekend.

Do something completely different. If you've ever read "The Artist's Way" the author suggests going on an artist date. Go somewhere you haven't gone before, maybe to a park or paint a picture or even take a nap. Spend a few hours just doing what you WANT to do.

Message was edited by: jeanetteraleigh
lionessinthemir...

Posts: 573
Registered: 08/29/10
Re: How to cure burn out?
Posted: Jun 8, 2012 1:47 PM   in response to: jeanetteraleigh in response to: jeanetteraleigh
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Sorry, I should have given a bit of background. For those who don't know me, I'm a 70 year-old woman and I write murder mysteries. My first two are [i]Castle Cay[/i] and [i]Swan Song[/i]. I'm currently working on the third, [i]Mystral Murder[/i].

I've been SO frustrated lately! My novel is all researched and blocked out. The story was rolling along quite well, when, suddenly, I just didn't want to write another word. That never happened on the first two books, but my husband (80) was still working then. He's home now and he has Myasthenia, Parkinson's and mild dementia. It's difficult to devote the time and focus on the book. I knew I could count on you here for support, and I've been considering your suggestions.

Traci, no offense, but I got to #14 and I was ready to either shoot myself or try the cocaine and hookers.

I know for sure that it's no good to force writing. Several of you suggested I close the computer and give myself a mini-vacation. I think that's the right choice for me and my husband, too, who's been missing me. I'm going to take him to the movies...and maybe a museum...and out to dinner.

Thank you,
Lioness
bluehighiq

Posts: 25
Registered: 05/26/12
Re: How to cure burn out?
Posted: Jun 8, 2012 3:01 PM   in response to: lionessinthemir... in response to: lionessinthemir...
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I know this sounds silly but when I get this way, I water the garden or do the dishes. Somehow water seems to unclog the mind. Go for a drive or walk and breathe in the wonder of our world. Soon you will be seeing mysteries in the simplest of things. I'm rooting for you!

Alexie Aaron
jeanetteraleigh

Posts: 2,292
Registered: 05/30/11
Re: How to cure burn out?
Posted: Jun 8, 2012 7:45 PM   in response to: lionessinthemir... in response to: lionessinthemir...
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Sounds like some date and cuddle time is just what you both need. :)
redeyedandfried

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Registered: 02/04/12
Re: How to cure burn out?
Posted: Jun 8, 2012 8:23 PM   in response to: lionessinthemir... in response to: lionessinthemir...
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Take a bong hit. Always helps me. :)
conradmpowell

Posts: 507
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Re: How to cure burn out?
Posted: Jun 8, 2012 11:38 PM   in response to: redeyedandfried in response to: redeyedandfried
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"Laughter is the Best Medicine"

Watch any one of the following:

Monty Python's - The Life of Brian
Seasons 1-7 of Friends Box Set (Caution - very addictive)
Richard Pryor/Gene Wilder - "Stir Crazy"
Keenan Ivory Wayans - "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka"
Cat Williams Standup - "Get in touch with you &^%^&&^%%^%& Star Playa Self"
If all of this went over your head. Forgive me. Just watch a real funny movie that you know is funny. I guarantee you will be back to write refreshed. So have a comedy movie marathon.
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