Take Time Out.


I't's no wonder insurance companies
often place writers in their high risk
categories. Writers are always on the
job--watching and noting everyone and
everything, plotting and planning the
next article, the next novel.

We may find it fun, always whizzing
through life, brain 100% alert. But very
few of us can survive solely as writers.
Add in the day job, the family and
friends, the everyday commitments and
sooner or later you're running on empty.

If you're a freelancer, reliant for some or
all of your income from writing, then the
pressures are all the more stressful.

Writing is stress.


Do you fine yourself sitting at the
keyboard longer and longer and
achieving less and less?

Are you snappy with friends and family,
always wanting to be left alone with your

Are you off your food, eating erratically,
drinking more? Unusual behavioral patterns could signify
that it's time to take stock.

The signs of burnout can be confusing
and contradictory: undereating or
overeating, insomnia or oversleeping,
chronic fatigue or brain chronically

    Writers often suffer panic attacks and
feelings of failure, or find that they
haven't two ideas to rub together.

Time Out

The hardest thing is to force yourself to
rest, to be nice to yourself.  But an hour
or two pampering yourself, taking a long
scented bath might well double your
productivity later.

A visit to an art gallery, a theater or
giving yourself permission to read a great
book--and not one about writing--could
make you feel you've had a real holiday.

l swear by brewer's yeast, high in iron and B vitamins
Stretching exercises relieve muscles tired from sitting pounding computer keys.

Schedule some quality time to  yourself each week and see your productivity increase.
 Anne Duguid is a senior content editor with MuseItUp Publishing and   her New Year's Resolution is to blog with helpful writing,editing and publishing tips at Slow and Steady Writers far more regularly than she managed in 2011.


Christine Rains said...

Great advice! I only get a tiny bit of time to myself each week and I spend it writing. I took a nap today and read outside instead. It helped a lot!

Kathleen Moulton said...

Anne, your advice is so good. I want to add this is especially true for writers who are in the pre and menopausal stage. Lots of changes going on! Managing stress is crucial.

Thanks for the tip on the brewer's yeast!

When It Hurts

Karen Cioffi said...

Annie, this really is great advice and timely. I'm kind of in burnout now - June was a crazy month.

I've never tried Brewer's Yeast, but a friend did recommend it also. And, the stretches are a good idea.

And, if you overdo it and are too stressed out, you compromise your immune system. This can lead to getting sick, which I am!

Kathleen, how funny, but true.

Heidiwriter said...

Excellent! We really do need to take care of ourselves. We can do a better job at writing when we do!

Nancy Thompson said...

The only time I've been overwhelmed by writing so far is when my edits came back from my publisher. For the first time, it was a CP or beta reader, but someone SUPER important. That had me all worked up. And yes, I was very short with my family during the editing process.

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

Great tips Annie.

VS Grenier said...

I can tell when I'm on burnout because I just don't want to do anything and that means everyone suffers around me. One thing I want to add is we as writers put a lot of stress on ourselves and when we start to feel the burnout, we need to step back and say I can't add that one more thing or this deadline is a bit too quick for me to really give it my best.

This is one thing I have learned over the years recently. yes, an editor may not like you need a longer deadline, but if you let them know you'll be pushing and so your best work won't show, they will normally give you the extra time you request. Just remember to be realistic about what you can do and the time frame it will take to do it. I found this has helped my burnout happen less often.

Shirley Corder said...

Annie, great advice. I get so behind on things, and then have to go crazy trying to catch up. I have just read a blog post by Michael Hyatt on similar lines, and have followed his advice and drawn up an "Ideal Week" timetable. Anyone interested, you'll find it at http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/michaelhyatt/~3/bCO5hpQuTKg/more-margin.html

Anne Duguid Knol said...

Good points,Kathleen. And yes, I should remember to take the brewer's yeast more often...

Anne Duguid Knol said...

Your stamina and consistent effort are obviously bringing so many opportunities your way,Karen, that you must take time to look after yourself. You're always on the go helping others and tackling ever more demanding projects. A spot of reading outside seems called for lol

Anne Duguid Knol said...

certainly true--but it's often easier said than done when all the deadlines fall due at once. Okay, I know I should organise better but...

Anne Duguid Knol said...

Lovely to meet another snappy bunny hehe

Anne Duguid Knol said...

Thanks Mary Jo.

Anne Duguid Knol said...

Good advice, Virginia. It is so difficult to say we need longer deadlines but it often has to be done to produce the best possible work. Editors usually have some inbuilt time allowance to allow a little leeway for writers who need more time.

Anne Duguid Knol said...

Me too Shirley but then I am a bit of a deadline junkie despite resolving each year to do better. Thanks for the link. I shall definitely look it up.

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