Remember the joy.
Six months ago, I stopped writing.
I couldn’t get myself moving again. I would open up my computer and avoid writing for hours on end. Days turned into weeks.
I just didn’t like it anymore. Fifteen years into this gig, I didn’t want to do it any more.
But (based on the fact this article is back and I’m struggling to find time to writing on Medium because of client demands), you can see I’m back at it.
How did I get there?
If you’re struggling to get back into writing after a period of burnout, don’t worry — you’re not alone. It can be tough to muster up the energy and enthusiasm to write when you’re feeling drained, but there are some things you can do to get yourself back on track.
Here are a few tips to help you get started writing again after a burnout:
Identify the reasons why you lost your love for writing in the first place. Was it because you were putting too much pressure on yourself to produce perfect work? Or was it because you felt like you had nothing new or interesting to say? Once you identify the root cause of your writing burnout, you can start to address it.
Take some time for yourself. If you’re feeling burned out, it’s important to take a step back and give yourself some time to relax and recharge. This might mean taking a few days off from writing, or simply taking a break during the day to do something you enjoy.
Find a writing buddy. Sometimes, all it takes to get back into writing is to find someone else who loves it as much as you do. Having a writing buddy can give you the motivation and inspiration you need to keep going. I found a friend that was willing to edit my work for me for a short period of time. I would write without worrying about quality too much, and she would fix it up. It took a lot of the pressure off of the actual writing.
Set some smaller goals. If the thought of starting from scratch is too daunting, set yourself some smaller goals to help you get back into writing. This could be anything from writing for five minutes a day to completing a short story or poem.
Join a writers’ group. Being part of a community of writers can help you feel supported and motivated to keep writing. I reached out to some people I met through a comedy class to keep myself accountable. It was a fun change of pace and helped me overcome my inertia.
Read, read, read. When you’re feeling burned out, it can be helpful to read the work of other writers to remind yourself why you love writing in the first place. Along with my professional and financial goals, I want to ready 52 books this year. I used the time freed up by not writing to cross a few books off my list for the year.
Just remember to take things one step at a time, and be gentle with yourself.