By Kelly Bridgewater
NaNoWriMo was a couple of months ago. Now you have that precious manuscript that may have stayed at 50,000+ words once you became a winner but have you gone back and revised the story? Have you added to the story, making it to its completion? It is a lot of work. How many times do friends go to the movie or shop, but you have this “chore” hanging over your head to finish your writing?
You know what I mean. The blog posts. The book reviews. The interviews. Oh, don’t forget the reason we’re writing in the first place. The book that whispers, stalks, and taunts you for days, weeks, even years, waiting on you to tell the story for the masses. We need to battle that dragon. The dragon called burnout from spending too much time sitting in our writing chairs.
You feel guilty if you leave the chair and the computer, but no one else knows your characters and your plot like you do, so you feel obligated to type away at those keys.
But . . . would it be better to force the writing out when you’re not at your best? Or come back after spending laughing or crying at a movie you wanted to see? Why not spend time catching up with a friend at the local coffee shop? Why not spend time in a chair reading a book you have been wanting to read?
|My youngest son, Obadiah, in his tent.|
I understand the feeling of being burned out from battling all the tasks that depend your attention. I want to spend time with my husband and kids, but if I don’t spend time typing away at the computer, then how will I ever achieve my dreams of being a published author? I feel so worn out, what do I have to write that hasn’t been told before? Sometimes I draw a blank on what to happen next in my novel, so it affects my family life too.
Here are five tips to help burnout that I have used:
1.) Read: We’re readers first, so pick up a book, either off your bookshelf or dare I say it, take a trip to the local bookstore or library, and pick up a book that you have been wanting to read. Try something in a different genre that you write in. Give you a chance to lavish in how someone else writes without worrying about your novel.
2.) Splurge with Chocolate or Coffee: Chocolate and Caffeine are a great stress reliever, so enjoy it without thinking about the calories you consume. You deserve it.
3.) Go out: Either with a friend or your husband. Plan a date night with your husband. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive or fancy. Hit the McDonald’s, then go to the dollar theater, if there is one in your town. When watching the movie, don’t allow your mind to work through the plot workings of the story. Just sit back and enjoy it like normal people, not like a writer. (I know this will be hard.)
4.) Spend time with your kids: Make a tent and fight the dragons. Tell ghost stories. Allow your imagination to run free as you make memories with those kids. Remember what it was like to act weird and seek fun around every corner.
5.) Spend time with God: Read the Bible. Pray. One of my most favorite things to do is to crank up some worship songs that I have and allow myself to enter God’s presence. 7eventh Time Down. Close Your Eyes. Write This Down. All names of bands whom have some great worship ballads. Trust me, they’re not for the faint of heart.
God has given us this calling, and he will be with us and provide inspiration. Even God rested on the seventh day. We don’t have to spend every waking moment writing our book. God will use us to encourage others, but we need to rest and enjoy life too.
What do you do to rest and spend time not writing? What one of the five tips do you use to rest?