Ana Melendez is a writer and blogger. She loves to read, create stories, and she is an introvert. She writes for Medium and Vocal Media.
My Personal Journey as a Writer
I've been a content writer for years on and off. I wasn't a full-time writer until just recently. I worked at other types of jobs not related to writing. Writing became my part-time hobby that later became my side hustle. And just until this recently became my full-time career.
In college, my favorite class was English. I would get A's in my English class while my other classes such as History and Math would suffer. I've always been in love with writing. I started with the usual which was a regular notebook and a pen. I would have in my stash collection of journals, notebooks, and diaries.
I remember when I was a little girl I would always ask my dad for a new notebook. My sibling would tease me so much about my addiction to notebooks and how much I love to write.
I have been writing online consistently in the last couple of months. In June of 2020, I left my full-time dental assistant job because of Covid. I started taking some courses to improve my writing skills and also on how to pitch to clients. I built my portfolio and started writing online to publish my work samples.
Writing every day has been tough for so many reasons. First, I have problems with my back. I suffer from sciatica pain due to three herniated discs caused by a car accident back in 2006. Second, I got diagnosed I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, so exhaustion and joint pain are some of the common problems I currently have.
Finally, I have other responsibilities such as taking care of my parents, helping out my siblings with my nieces and nephews. It's hard sometimes to say no when it comes to the family because I can't help it that I feel guilty sometimes. So, I ended up saying yes and helping out.
I also try to maintain a healthy lifestyle but as a full-time writer is not easy to do so.
I am a writer and I love writing. I am constantly publishing stories on platforms online. Having something to write about even when dealing with burnout is something I feel the need to do.
The Side Hustle Era
In the era of side hustling, burnout has always been extremely common for not only professionals in all industries but for creators as well.
Nowadays, having a side hustle or having multiple sources of income is no longer a luxury but a necessity. I think it has always been a necessity for some people, but the majority of people have realized in this era that we cannot have all our eggs in one basket.
Having burnout when dealing with so much responsibility of taking care of your home, family, your job or business, and your finances can lead to having a heavy burden on your back which can be a major cause of stress, exhaustion, depression, and lacking focus when trying to get so many things done.
I've seen YouTube videos of creators talking about this same subject of burnout and how common it is while working on their online business. Even if they have a team, it's still so very common.
For writers like me that don't have a team and are a one-person band, can be extremely difficult. I have to learn to prioritize my tasks and to do a schedule using a planner and follow up with it. I am not a morning person so that is a struggle because being proficient with time management is crucial when trying to get things done.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Having a Burnout?
There are multiple symptoms when you are having burnout. Symptoms such as:
- Mental and physical exhaustion
- Fatigue, drained, tired most of the time
- Change in sleeping and eating habits
- Lack of focus.
- Feeling ill a lot frequently because of lowering immunity
These are the most common type of symptoms that anyone is prone to have. When you've overworked yourself to the point you're hating and dreading doing anything that is related to that type of work.
Having a Writer's Burnout
A writer burnout happens when you as a writer all of sudden don't feel like wanting to write because you're feeling overworked, stressed, and feeling disconnected from wanting to write. As a writer, you're feeling hate towards writing and don't want to write anymore.
You're basically dreading to sit on your favorite chair and opening your laptop and start writing your heart out. You don't feel any fun writing anymore. You start feeling to procrastinate all of a sudden and making excuses to not write the article or the book you have been wanting to complete.
No writer is exempt from burnout. And every writer can overcome this and that's great news.
Writer's Block vs Writer's Burnout
Writer's block is when you can't put words into a page because your mind is completely blank. Writer's block is the thing that leaves you stagnant when you are ready to start with your idea but don't know how to put it into words. This is easily solved with an outline and brainstorming before starting to free-write your draft.
Burnout on the other hand is a completely different story. It's when you're stressed and feeling exhaustion all over. Mentally and physically. It cannot be resolved easily like writer's block. Writer's burnout lasts longer, is a lot harder to overcome, and it's frustrating because you know you have things to do and tasks to finish.
However, you can't seem to get anything done. You're dealing with burnout and the sooner you realized this, the faster you can take action to overcome this.
How to Overcome a Writer's Burnout
What are things you can do to overcome a writer's burnout? You can do a couple of things that could help either avoid burnout or overcome one. These simple things can help you. Doing things such as:
- Listen to your body and rest
- Outsource or delegate minor tasks if you can
- Go outside and spend time with nature.
- Exercise or make time for it. Take a walk, jog, or do yoga. Meditation helps too.
If deadlines are due, try to maybe change the work environment such as instead of being home, go try to work in a coffee shop or anywhere that is different from where you normally would work.
Also if you can, try to take a mini-vacation. Don't forget to set boundaries if you're working from home. Boundaries such as limiting your work hours. Don't overwork past your normal business hours. Turn off all your devices and focus more time with your loved ones.
This basically means don't open any business email, don't take any business phone calls, and of course no meetings.
Writer's burnout is real. It can happen to every professional writer whether is a beginner or experienced. Having burnout is no joke when you're trying to complete tasks and assignments. Deadlines are approaching and you're pressured to complete them.
Although you're feeling it, it doesn't mean you can't overcome it. By simply listening to your body and recognizing the symptoms you're having from burnout you can start doing some positive changes to help you feel better and get you back on track. And by doing so, you're no longer will feel stagnant, hateful of writing, or hateful of your profession, overall.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2022 Ana Melendez