This year I had the chance to join a group friends (not the Ferrets—sorry ladies) going to OWFI. I had only gone once before, in 2013, while most of the others had gone every year for the past four years, but our consensus going in seemed the same: OWFI was sort of neat, but maybe this was the last time anyone in this friend group was going to go.
Except…this year? Was actually pretty amazing.
Honestly I am very bad about recognising when creative burnout is looming upon me – or even when I’ve full on driven myself into it. When I have trouble creating, often my first impulse is to focus harder, to try and figure it out, start a new project or bounce to another one in progress. . .
Anything but ‘recognise there might be a reason for this and take a break’, really.
That tends to mean I don’t recognise I’m getting burnt out until I’m fully ensnared in frustrating, exhausting, tear-worthy inability to dredge out words. I mean, layering yet more pressure on top of already failing motivation doesn’t help? Whaaa?
Honestly, a lot of my issues (and there are many) aren’t so much of my lack of creative energy, but rather my lack of focus. And a lack of motivation to actually be productive and finish something instead of just jumping to the next shiny idea I find myself enamored by.
But I do sometimes find myself well and truly drained. This usually happens right after I finish a very large creative project. And, uh, since that happens rarely (both the being drained and the *cough* finishing something), I’m pretty much at a loss as how to fix it. So honestly, I’m reading this series of posts right along there with all of you.
That being said, I have found two ways that work pretty well for me. Your mileage may vary, etc etc, but if you’re finding that you’re scraping at the bottom of the barrel for any sort of creative juice, try this out. Continue reading
*clears throat* I have a confession. I am obsessed with lists.
Okay, if you know me at all, that’s not a confession. But if you don’t know me or only sort of know me, you may not know the extent I’m obsessed.
At work, I’m an office manager. I keep sales lists, lists of vacation time, lists of phone calls made or emails sent, lists of audits of customers, lists of new sales, lists of things I need to remind my boss to get done, lists of follow ups with customers, and more. This serves me well at my job because things (rarely) get forgotten this way.
At home though, I keep more lists. Daily to-do lists. Weekly to-do lists. Both of which I always overschedule. ALWAYS. (If I can mark everything off a list, that means I didn’t schedule enough work to be done!)
What this boils down to is, for better or worse, I dictate mass amounts of my life with lists. So when creative burnout is approaching or is in full flaming glory… it’s the lists that have to go. As hard as that is for me to do. And it’s really, really hard. *clutches stacks of scribbled lists* Continue reading
Like most of the other Ferrets, 2017 was a hell of a year for me. 2016 ended in true end-of-season sweeps week cliffhanger fashion, with my roommate (Ferret Jessica) getting pregnant and she, her husband, and I standing around the pregnancy tests she’d taken going “…well damn.”
Thus, 2017 went something like this:
Every creative person hits that infamous wall at some point – where your brain is drained and you find that no matter how hard you try you just can’t create. Sometimes you even lose the desire to create. So what’s a writer to do then? Continue reading
Welcome to our next series! Did you miss us?
When we sat down to our business meeting last month we all decided this was probably a good series for kicking off 2018. After all, we’re about done recuperating from NaNoWriMo, the Christmas holidays, and the winter doldrums, and it’s time to get back in the flow of things.
So how do you refill that creative well when you’re getting burned out? We all hit burnout, whether it’s thanks to life obstacles or overwork. No matter who you are or what you do in life you can hit burnout, but creatives seem to hit this especially hard.
Stay tuned! Next week we’ll start revealing our own strategies and we hope you’ll join in on the conversation and tell us yours.
The Ferrets should probably come to the realization that every year in December/January we pretty much hibernate. We’ve survived NaNoWriMo, in whatever capacity we each participated, then it’s diving into the deep end of holiday things and trying to recoup at the start of the year.
Pretty much I’m saying that we’re still here. In fact we have one of our semi-yearly business meetings coming up just next week, where we’ll be talking about this blog and all the things we plan to bring you this year.
Anything in particular you want to see? Now is the time to suggest it and get our brains thinking it over. We’ll see you all soon.
*Photo by user skeeze at Pixabay, creative commons usage
Well, that’s it. The final write-in is finished, the Thank God It’s Over party has been held, and NaNoWriMo 2017 is officially over and done. This year was definitely a struggle for all of us in more ways than one, but we’ve made it to the end, and we’re all celebrating surviving another year of NaNo, no matter where our final goals ended up.
Here are our personal wrap-ups for the month:
As of today, we have less than a week and a half left before NaNoWriMo is over for another year, and validation has officially started on the NaNo site. And, just as we have pretty much every year, we’re all looking up from our projects with bleary eyes going “Wait? What do you mean week three is nearly over? What to you mean it’s almost Thanksgiving?”
We’re all a bit (a lot) frazzled, but we’re also at the point that we can see the finish line. Just ten days and four write-ins remain…