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Monday, May 23, 2016

On writing: Burnt out

There comes a time when life seems upside down. When you suddenly stop doing the things that you love to do. For me, that’s reading a book or finding some time to write a few sentences for the book I’m writing.

So, I’m there, at that part of my life and I feel hanging in the air, but as the blood floods my brain, I realize the reason.

It stopped being fun.

When I read a book, all my senses are heightened. I focus on the words and it’s like watching a movie. But lately there’s only blackness. I can’t see the MC, or when I do see him, it’s only a flash of him which is not enough to make me keep reading. And I stop and ask myself: why is this happening?

I cannot concentrate on the story since the words dance before my eyes and I desperately try to catch them. Have you felt like this before? What did you do?

To end this torture, I decided that I’d do it differently. Usually I read on the road to work, so this weekend, I isolated myself in my bedroom and I read. And it actually worked. In the absence of noise, lying on the bed with a hot cup of coffee, I felt the long forgotten happiness of reading a good book.

And I want that, I missed that, as I miss the butterflies in my stomach as I create.

So this is what I did wrong: 

I counted on borrowed time to read or write.
I didn’t choose the right book to match my mood, but I started reading everything that caught my eye.
I stopped brainstorming about my story.
I held back my emotions and didn’t write them down.

I blame tiredness and exhaustion, but deep down I know that it’s just me. If you do want to do something you make time and I just let time pass by, occupying myself with other stuff.

I am burnt out, but I try to stand on my feet again and finish writing that book. Until then, I’ll just write down my thoughts hoping to wake up the butterflies.

What about you?


  1. I hope you wake the butterflies soon! I know you will. I've been struggling with that dang delete button. I'd type, then delete it with nothing to show for it. We should be able to turn off delete and backspace. I haven't stopped by in ages. I hope you're well. Sounds like a lot of work. Maybe not right now, but eventually it all becomes a story, right?

    1. Hey stranger! I'm good, a bit burnt out, but I'll manage. I'm so glad to see you here again! How are you?

      Yep, we should cut them off the keyboard! Delete buttons play with our heads, Robyn, it's sad but true.

      Eventually it will become a story, yes. We need to stay put and keep writing.
      Let's shout it out loud together!;)

  2. I often feel burnt out, too. Whenever it hits for art, I force myself to work on something regardless, even if it's just for a few minutes a day, so I don't end up quitting for good. Sorry to hear you've been struggling like this when it comes to writing. Hope you feel more energized than burnt out soon!

    1. Yes, that's a good practice, Heather but sometimes I end up hating everything afterwards. ;)

      Thank you. I hope too.

  3. I can totally relate to that. Especially the reading part. I was so dumbfounded when I couldn't seem to be able to read books. Because, you know, reading books is what I'm all about! I do believe we just need to pick more carefully what we read and stop watching that dreadful "3 books behind" on our Goodreads challenge. ;) It makes reading seem like a chore and it shouldn't.
    As for the writng part, I too seem to have run out of ideas. So to fight this, I write stories about people in my life and what I'm feeling about them, changing the names and actual facts. It seems to be working since it is easier to relate to me and my problems at this point rather than my previous MC's.
    So you are not burnt out sweet Athina. Just flickering in a bad wind. You'll burn bright again as soon as the wind calms down. ^_^

    1. Hey Penny! The Goodreads goal can be very irritating, I agree! But I'm ignoring it lately.

      Regarding writing, it's not that I don't have ideas. I do and I have plenty. My problem is that for a reason I cannot quite identify, I choose to wait and occupy myself with other stuff as I said. Like there is a voice, whispering to me to wait. What am I waiting for though?

      I'm so happy to hear that you write even if it's about people in your life. It is surely more familiar and easier to connect. So, am I one of those characters? haha

      Thank you for the kind words. I do hope for the wind to die down soon.;)

    2. I'm not telling you! These stories are for me and me only! I treat them as creative writing exercises. :)