Avoiding Burnout as a Writer & Creative Person

It's one thing to be on fire. It's quite another to burn out. 

Just this morning I witnessed burnout. I put the tea kettle on and minutes later, heard a strange buzz, turned, and saw golden flames leap from the stove. I turned off the burner and noticed it had warped and melted.

I had noticed that burner element was having issues - not fully lighting up when I turned it on. Taking a long time to heat up. Acquiring a weird dark glow.

But I didn't do anything about it. I didn't change the burner. I didn't stop using it. I didn't much pay attention.

That's the key to avoiding burnout: paying attention.

This year as I'm surging forward into an exciting new year, I'm also wary that in the past I've overdone things and felt myself burning out. The difference is that I've learned to watch that burner. 

If it's not functioning, I don't keep piling on the workload.

I take time out. I care for the creative soul who is me.

I'm also careful to ask myself: Why am I doing all this? 

Sometimes I get sucked in by the desire to please, to meet everyone's needs, to be everything to everyone - and that's not possible.

As a gifted person, I have to make sure I'm receiving gifts before giving them out.

Gently, put the tea kettle on.

Gently, watch that burner. 


Finding your momentum can be tricky, no matter how you look at it. We can do too much. Or too little. Stop-start-halt-gasping our way through the creative process, especially when we have a writing project we hope to complete.

I'm excited to be offering you support and answers to this dilemma, with the help of my creative partners, literary mavens, author Sage Cohen and publisher Laura Stanfill. Together we are bringing you a workshop series in March at Rouse Portland. Check it out:

Finding Your Stride: How to Build Momentum in Your Writing Life

We'd love to see you there!

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