Recovering from Burnout

I’m proud of myself: given a choice between writing and playing Hades just now, I willingly chose to work on my novel, without pressuring myself to make that choice at all.

This is real progress from a month or so ago when the mere thought of trying to write made me want to cry.

Burnout is hard, folks. Especially when the thing you’re burned out on is also kind of your favorite thing. The thing that feels like it gives your life meaning.

But there’s just only so much writing that I can wring out of myself.

Even if I still kind of believe at a deep level that writing two or three times as fast would double or triple my chances of achieving the kind of recognition for my writing that I crave…

I’m not a machine. And I can’t crank out books like Otters In Space 4 like that.

I think it kind of played with my head that it turned out I -could- double and triple my writing speed from where it started out. But… That’s not a trick you can pull endlessly. At some point, you top out.

And sure, I -could- put more words on the page per day… but would they be words I care about? Because underneath it all, I’m writing because I care about these stories and find meaning in them.

And while you can crank out words… meaning is a much scarcer resource.

Meaning is something that’s gleaned from life and living. You can find it in your words as you crank them out… but that’s usually because your brain’s been ticking along in the background, processing everything you’ve experienced, finding patterns, and making sense of it all.

In conclusion, go easy on yourself if you’re not writing as fast as you feel like you could or should be. The world pressures us all to run at break-neck speeds.

It’s okay to… not.

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