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Old 01-06-2013, 02:54 PM
Success19's Avatar
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Default Writer Burn Out Syndrome

I think I am burned out right now with writing. Any suggestions? Part of the issue is how much time it takes to find something to write on the content mills due to lower numbers of articles being available in my several niche areas. Applying to other writing sites is giving me so much stress. During warm weather, a walk outside gets me refreshed. However, right now that is impossible due to weather conditions. Indoor exercise just isn't the same. I also have seasonal affective disorder. This makes me want to hibernate until spring arrives! I am taking vitamins, eating fruits and vegetables, trying to exercise indoors. Of course writing online is much better than jobs out in the world in so many ways. Anyone else having burnout?
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:17 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 2,569

I "lose my patience" over too many directions and requirements. I'm not dependent on writing income to live, so I just went over to the bright side and decided it was time to write for myself. Get your own blog, monetize and promote it. Write and promote your own Kindle books.

As for your SAD, you likely need more bright light in addition to exercise, eating right and vitamins. Don't neglect exercise just because you are cooped up inside your home, you don't have to go outside to do this. Get a second-hand treadmill, some weights and do it. Go walking in an indoor mall where it's warmer if you can't get a treadmill.

Turn on more lights when you work or try to work in the morning and open up the drapes or blinds. Get outside for a bit if you can, especially when it's bright outside.
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:34 PM
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Location: East Coast
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I hit burn out awhile ago when I was writing for clients. I decided I needed to concentrate on my own writing and building residual income. This helped me to feel better and motivated to get the work done.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:35 PM
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I can definitely understand how you are feeling. I feel a bit burnt out right now but have no other choice other than to continue writing. We all need a break here and there though.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:14 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: California
Posts: 810

I wish I had advice for you, but I am in the same boat right now. I'm so tired of writing, lol. Well I'm tired of "work" writing. I get maybe 1 day a month where it is completely off, though I know that just comes with being a freelancer. A week off from content writing would be a dream but I don't see that happening any time soon. I suppose my advice would be to try to break up your day a little. Instead of doing nothing but writing several hours straight, I write for a little while, then do something I enjoy and go back to writing and so on for my day.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:21 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 66

I think we all struggle with burnout occasionally. One of the perils of our work is that we don't get to leave it at the office the way others do. Not clocking in means we may feel as though we're never clocked out.

I'm suffering a little burnout at the moment for that very reason. I feel as though I should be scanning Textbroker's open order list more carefully, getting ahead of my regular clients' blog and article needs, creating my website, searching for new clients, updating my resume or otherwise doing something more productive. It nags at me, and I've never quite figured out how to scratch that "shouldn't you be working?" itch.

One of the best remedies for burnout I've found is to do something out of the ordinary that takes you away from your desk. The weather may be wretched where you live, but if you can get out to an art gallery or go ice skating or do something else that isn't part of your routine, it can refresh your head a bit. You might also get some relief from your SAD symptoms by catching some extra rays, even if it is thin winter light.
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:39 AM
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I get burned out, but it isn't really with writing so much as it is with certain clients. I try to stick to topics that I know fairly well and I'm interested in. That way I don't get burned out on the writing side as easily. The clients are what does me in though. I have one right now that has just been an ongoing nightmare. He pays well, the work is consistent, and I only hear from him about once a week. The problem is that when I do hear from him it is usually a last minute request. Recently, he contacted me Thursday mid-day to tell me that a set of articles I have been working on with him for well over three months was wrong. Um, I've been turning those into you like clockwork for three months now! He brought in a site manager from another site who pointed out the issues. The issues were not with my writing. The issues were with the client not being clear about what the site needed. Now, I don't mind taking one for the team. However, when you give me a keyword/phrase and then just say "do whatever on it" or "it's just general intro stuff/about style, and that is what I give you only to find out that what was required was rewrites and updates to information including new phone numbers and requirements...that's a different story. So, on the CC email he had going between us all I pointed out that the direction given was for basic about articles and copied and pasted exactly what his instructions were. One whole sentence just saying "do one for each state" and "keep them unique but about style." That's it. I hear nothing for over an hour. Then I get this really short email that says I'm now working with another manager for that particular project. This client has been a piece of work from go and yeah...I'm hitting burn out with him.

On another note, have you tried maybe finding some magazines or other publications to submit work to? Something you are interested in and maybe finding the magazine or publication through Writers Market? That might break up the boredom and burn out a bit. Maybe pick up a side job that has nothing to do with writing? I have a small research job that is mindless but pays well, has nothing to do with writing and breaks up the day to day a bit.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:51 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 3,645

I do deal with SAD, it's hard not to in Vermont when it gets gloomy in November and doesn't seem to end until April.

There are light bulbs out there that you can install in regular lamps that mimic natural sunlight. Those help minimally, but any help is better than nothing. Research foods rich in serotonin and add them to your diet. Take vitamin B complexes too, they'll definitely help.

I just used some of my Christmas bonus to get a fish tank. It's set up right next to my work space and the sound of the flowing water (filter is one of those waterfall systems) and the movement of the fish can really help clear my mind.

When it is sunny and warm enough to walk, take advantage of it. The rest of the time, if I'm feeling really burned out, I'll put the computer away and write outlines to articles instead. Granted, the work I do allows me to do that. I can pull out the different travel guides I own or have my friend bring me stuff from the travel agency she works at and then come up with the list of attractions that go into travel articles I'm writing.

When all else fails, I LOVE to make bread. Something about pounding the dough while kneading takes away some of the angst.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:24 AM
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Something else you could try (the bread comment from anng reminded me) is to take short breaks and do something you like during them or need to get done.

When I first started working from home I worked for a home shopping line through West. I loved the job, but overtime I would get so burned out. I decided at one point to schedule myself for an hour, take a thirty minute break and then go back and do another hour. Sure, it lengthned my work day, but over breaks I would get so much done! That would give me an accomplished feeling that helped with the overall depression and burn out I would get.

I wouldn't just clean either. I do a lot of green living, sustainable and self-reliant living (it's my main niche afterall ) and one of the things I love to do is bake bread or dehydrate fruits for storage. During the half hour breaks I would use my bread machine and start a loaf of bread, cut up some fruits for the dehydrator, take the dogs out, throw in some laundry or handle the dishes. Not all in one half hour but those were tasks I would do throughout the day. At the end of the day I could say that I got my work done, made a decent income and "oh gee look at the happy homemaker stuff I did". It always made me feel a bit better about things.
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