“Time spent in nature is the most cost-effective and powerful way to counteract the burnout and sort of depression that we feel when we sit in front of a computer all day.” —Richard Louv
My guest today is Pamela S. Thibodeaux. Pam gives practical ways to avoid burnout. Authors handle edit deadlines, marketing, research, and writing the next book while eking out time for family responsibilities. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Either way, burnout is a threat. Pam’s suggestions are timely. Be sure to see more about her new novel, Circles of Fate, following her post.
Pamela S. Thibodeaux: Writing is a solitary profession and, more often than not, writers are alone with only the people in their heads to keep them company. Ask any writer who has done this for a while and they’ll tell you that burnout is more than the dreaded slump, writers block, or a silent muse.
Burnout is debilitating and can sometimes be dangerous.
Here are some signs to look for and things to do in order to avoid getting to that point.
*Unusual sleep patterns: Sleep too much or too little. Wake up at odd hours. Never feel refreshed.
*Lack of Concentration: You sit at the computer and nothing gels; the muse is silent; leaving you to your own devices which seem to have deserted you also. You try to be disciplined but it’s impossible as your mind scatters in a million different directions.
*Boredom: You’re bored with everything; writing, reading, TV, life, and can’t seem to focus on any one thing.
*Lack of Energy/Fatigue: More than just being tired, I’m talking soul-weary, bone-deep, mind-numbing exhaustion.
*Anxiety: Anxiety combined with any of the other symptoms mentioned can be a dangerous thing, often leading to a writer quitting for good.
These are some early signs that something is not right. It’s time to take a break; a hot bath, a walk, read a book, watch your favorite TV show(s), clean out the closet, scrub the floor, something! Journal, write something different or even get completely away from writing for a little while.
Taking a break at the early signs often helps you avoid the inevitable.
*Depression: You’ve ignored all the other symptoms and now nothing matters at all. You’ve done more than chase away the muse, hit more than the dreaded slump, you’re at rock bottom; smack dab in a pit of despair unlike any you’ve ever known. Depression is usually a sign of deeper problems. Sometimes it’s a physical thing, more often a mental one.
*Apathy: Apathy is way past depression and is never a good thing! This is the point where nothing and no one matters. This is the absolute lowest point a person can reach, and often leads to thoughts of suicide or worse.
The onset of either depression or apathy is the time to seek medical attention.
Burnout is serious and can have debilitating effects; however, it can often be avoided. Taking preventative measures—proper diet, exercise, and rest—are the easiest and best ways to do so.
Recognizing the symptoms and dealing with them early is another way.
Whatever you do, don’t give up…on yourself, love, even writing, but more importantly don’t give up on Life….it is too precious for that!
Author bio: Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”
Book: Circles of Fate
Logline: With intriguing twists and turns, fate brings together a cast of characters whose lives will forever be entwined.
Blurb: Set at the tail end of the Vietnam War era, Circles of Fate takes the reader from Fort Benning, Georgia to Thibodaux, Louisiana. A romantic saga, this gripping novel covers nearly twenty years in the lives of Shaunna Chatman and Todd Jameson. Constantly thrown together and torn apart by fate, the two are repeatedly forced to choose between love and duty, right and wrong, standing on faith or succumbing to the world’s viewpoint on life, love, marriage and fidelity. With intriguing twists and turns, fate brings together a cast of characters whose lives will forever be entwined. Through it all is the hand of God as He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
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