E. Kaiser is a good friend of mine. So far, I've only read her first book, but I quite enjoyed it, and I really want to read the rest. When I can afford them. Her fairy tale retellings sound particularly awesome.
Find her on the Interwebs:
When Life Gets A Writer Down
It happens to every writer, and the sneaky thing about it is that you really won’t be able to tell it-is-what-it-is until someone else suggests it.
It can ambush a writer from lots of different angles, and sometimes it’s not even really the writing’s fault. Sometimes pressures outside of creative pursuits intrude and make your writing life miserable.
This is okay, this is to be expected. It’s like a log in the road on the quest you’ve been writing. Everybody knew it (or something like it) was going to happen... except the characters.
(Isn’t it funny how readers, writers, editors... we’re all aware that the journey can’t be completed without challenges and obstacles... but when we are in our own journey, we are just as surprised as our characters when we come up against a tough hurdle ourselves? )
Anyway. Diagnosing burnout is the most crucial step, and a lot of times this is helped by having “fresh eyes” on the depression, weeping, anger and utter self-loathing that roils in the writer’s soul.
Here’s where having writer friends can really cut to the chase on this, and with a really good diagnosis sometimes that cuts the whole problem down to size!
This happened to me recently... and even after all this time (I’ve been writing for over 15 years now) I was blindsided by the problem. It took a wise friend to offer me hope that I wasn’t going crazy, would probably enjoy writing again, might actually like (later) what I’d just spent the last months on.
(This is also a big reason why the rule “Never throw your writing away” is important. You night have written something truly terrible, in which case you’ll get a good laugh out of it . But it might also be something that you’ll like later, but your eyes are all out of focus right now, so don’t press delete!!! Don’t do it! Let it rest, let the process breath.)
This friend listened to my fears, recommended a diet of sleep and movie-watching, and a break from writing.
Then she went on to listen to my other problems... the ones that were really looming so large at the moment that their grim, dark shadow was killing my creativity and any appreciation for the arts at all. This shadow monster was the real reason I was ready to jump out of my skin and about ready to cry simultaneously, and after having a heart to heart about it the grim cloud of lightning and darkness was somewhat dispersed, and rays of sun started to shine through.
Viewing the threats through the lens of the Lord’s ultimate authority over all, I began to breathe again, and my heart rate eased up, and by the next day, I was actually back to writing like a multi-armed creature of legend.
(The transformation was that fast, and that is very rare. But still, it demonstrates the glistening jewel that is a good counsel of a friend... or as Proverbs puts it: “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” Couldn’t agree more! Thanks, friends! I deeply appreciate you!!!)
Anyway, there’s the facts. Sometimes “burn out” has little to do with what you’re writing... but don’t be fooled, your writing can take a real bruising from it. And you can even be lured to do crazy things you’ll later regret, like deleting your whole project, or something. (Please don’t ask me how I know!!!)
This segues into the field of where to find and how to cultivate writer friendships, but that’s another topic!