You’d think the girl who wrote a guest post on banishing burnout would practice what she preaches. Alas, I’m an imperfect human being prone to contradictions.
Does this post qualify as a Tuesday Tip? I’ll let you decide at the end.
So yes, I still struggle with giving myself breaks. I’ve previously written about how I constantly feel “on”, both as a writer building my publication experience and in all other areas of my life.
In terms of writing, it’s even harder because your online presence becomes part of your brand. Am I posting enough on social media? Am I relevant? Shouldn’t I have a lot more followers by now? I even question what I’m doing with this blog. Why haven’t I written a whole new draft yet (this one hurts even more when I see folks doing Camp NaNoWriMo or working on their sixth book while I’m struggling to find momentum for my second)?
Personally, it’s more like, am I reaching out to my friends enough? What if they move on from me? Where will that leave me? Am I doing enough for my family?
Maybe what I should be asking is, why am I always pressuring myself to be better, when simply being where I am is enough?
For many reasons, on both the individual and societal levels, I’m not alone. Many people my age feel pressured to always perform or improve. It’s the belief that if you don’t push yourself to learn something new or get better at something every minute of every day, you’ll plateau and regress into some useless blob (or maybe a Boohbah). It’s the idea that if you’re not physically and mentally drained at the end of every day, you haven’t done enough.
And that’s simply not true. I’ve known this for a while, but I think this week marks a new beginning in terms of actually practicing going easier on myself.
Last night, instead of forcing myself to tweak my query or work on a new scene in my WIP until my eyes burned and the clock struck midnight, I gave myself time to work on a craft, chat with a friend, take a relaxing shower, and watch a show all while gentle, calming rain drummed on my windowsill. It was kind of perfect.
I didn’t beat myself up this morning (well, not as much as I did before) when I slept in.
Here’s a newsflash: if you’re burnt out, the answer isn’t producing more. It’s taking time to recharge so you do have the energy to tackle your goals.
Thanks for being authentic with me. Have a lovely rainy Tuesday (if it’s raining where you are), and be kind to yourself.