Daily improvements can really make a difference to your life. As a writer you may do this by committing yourself to do something daily in order to move closer towards your writing goals. This can put pressure on you to come up with an article, blog or other writing piece when either inspiration doesn’t strike, or on the days when you are physically or mentally exhausted. It may get to you after a while and you may not only start to look at writing as a chore, but also run yourself into the ground which can lead to burnout.
According to Wikipedia, burnout is “a psychological term for the experience of long-term exhaustion and diminished interest”. The stage BEFORE you get to ‘burnout’, is a good time to look at the expectations you have set yourself and maybe scale back a little (just to take some pressure off). You are in control of your life, so you can make the changes.
I’m a fine one to talk as I blog daily and do put pressure on myself, but I’ve realised today that although I’ve set myself a writing goal to ‘learn something new about writing every day for a year and blog about it to teach others’, I don’t necessarily have to produce a 500 word technical piece every day and I don’t suppose my readers expect that either. It’s easier some days than others; a blog of about 500 – 700 words can sometimes just flow and other days I struggle to write one paragraph. You and I should be proud of ourselves whatever we come up with.
Preparing blogs in advance is a good prescription for taking away the pressure, but another idea might be to give yourself a break and say to your audience “here is a link to a great article which I have found useful today” and just write a few lines to go with it. This might be sufficient for days where you don’t feel inspired, are not in the mood or just don’t have the time (your readers will accept that you have other commitments). If I was to do this some days, the result would be the same – I would still have learnt something by reading what was in the link, and I would have shared it with others.
My tip: To feel happy that you are moving towards your writing goals, it’s a good idea to discipline yourself to make some kind of improvement every day, but it doesn’t matter how tiny it is – constant improvement is what you are seeking. The fact you are doing something is the important point. Also remember to be clever about the way you do things, for example, writing less some days or preparing writing pieces in advance. This can can take the pressure off.
Freelance Writer and author of My OpenLeaf Journey
For other examples of my work please visit www.sandramadeira.com
Great post today Sandra, and echoes exactly how I’m feeling right now.
What with a Creative Writing Course, my Blog, the daily prompts and now The Write Place weekly meets and homework, I’m feeling a little bit overwhelmed lol 😦
My own fault I know….all the competitions I was going to enter, all the submissions to magazines I was going to do have fallen by the wayside, I just physically haven’t got time, and I’m mentally drained.
I definitely need to rethink my writing goals 😉