Freelance Reflections 7/29: Writer’s Burnout. Is that a thing?

I just submitted the final assignment before I leave for San Diego tomorrow (thank goodness for vacations am I right?). Of COURSE the week before I leave everyone wants me to write for them. To be honest, I spent so many late nights writing this week I’m a little fried. You just get to the point where you just need a break and after 8 days and close to ten thousand words later I’m more than ready for a well earned rest.

I’ve heard other freelancers (more experienced than myself) talk about writer’s burnout, where you just can’t physically write anymore. It’s usually talked about in fearful hushed tones but the truth of the matter is I don’t believe in burnout. I believe in over-scheduling, overworking and under-recreating. Freelancers really struggle with the whole Work/Life balance because we are the new hunter-gatherers of the 21st century. We are out there foraging for work, networking, completing projects keeping up to date on the latest social media trends, it’s really much more than a full time job much of which goes uncompensated.

I think it’s important to remember that we need to take time to breathe, spend precious moments with our friends and family not just for their benefit but also for ours. I’m just as guilty of this where I get wrapped up in my work to the point where I don’t go out, I don’t do anything and then of course I feel strangled and grumpy, who wouldn’t?

So if you’re a workaholic like me I say make two days a week sacred, they can be floaters if you like, but make two days a week “NO CLIENT WORK” days. Do stuff around the house, go for a walk, write something FOR YOURSELF to keep yourself happy and the creative juices flowing, but stay away from the stress. I work on my manuscript, do DIY projects, and bake, just so I am learning something new, using other parts of my brain besides the writing parts and making progress elsewhere in my life. It’s been a great rule to follow, and it’s definitely prevented me from becoming overly frustrated.

On that note it’s time for me to pack and get ready! See everyone in August!