Thursday, January 29, 2009


It’s a little like a wipe-out only uglier. Burnout is what you get from writing too much. WHAT? Can one ever write too much?

Sometimes I write so much I wonder what I have accomplished outside of the windowed walls. Is life going on around me and I’m unaware? Are the people still moving and is the noisy traffic still congesting the highways?

Well of course it is, I’m just not out there to see or hear the action taking place. Sometimes I think I need to get a life. I’ve been told by a few that I ‘have no life’, only because they don’t see my writing the same way that I do.

I see myself sitting here utilizing my valuable time by giving critiques and feedback to others, trying to help them along on their writing journey and in a day I log over 5,000 words easily.

So what is burnout? Burnout is writing too much but not writing for yourself. You realize that 5000 words a day is spent not on your writing but aiding others and while you find this very fulfilling, you realize also that your dream is slipping like jell-o on a hot day, right through your fingers.

What can be done about this writing burnout? Write for yourself. I offer this blog as a tool to help others so they can learn the skills it takes to be a writer, then someone says, “Who is helping me become a better writer?” I can’t write across the sky my blog, but you need to dig and dig to learn, you can’t expect everyone to just make it easy for you all of your life. (A hard lesson I learned at a very young age.)

I was warned of the burnout about a year ago and I go through phases of highs and lows where writing is fun then it stinks. Like standing on top of a mountains edge and the wind plows up to smack you in the face leaving a feeling of exhilaration. Then there’s the unconscious act of jumping off the mountain without a parachute, you wonder what the purpose in all of this is for.

I think there comes a time in a writers life that he/she/you/me need to focus on numero uno. Throw caution to the wind and take that leap of leaving it all behind to venture into your own writing and soar into the fantasy world. I’m sure everyone would get along without me, heck I’m just another person standing on the ladder.

When you feel the burnout stinging you in the eyes, rub them real hard, look at WHO your writing is fulfilling and if it isn’t you, then YOU need to re-focus!

That is what I intend to do. Focus on my writing and take a breathtaking leap into the world I love most.

Educate yourself, learn the ropes, dig until your nails come out dirty, THEN you can say, I’ve done all the learning I can. Oh and by the way, it isn’t all about “Writing” books. There are tons out there and all have something different to say. If you’re a writer, a hard working, honest to goodness writer, then you need to be writing!

So that is what Joni is going to do!


Anonymous said...

Ah Joni,

The demands of others can be so draining. In the words of a doctor who noted that I was run down and constantly falling ill, "If you don't keep the main ship afloat, everyone sinks." Good point. It's good to give back. In some ways, giving has it own rewards. But giving when you are running low on supply, well, that's simply not good policy.
There are plenty of people who need help. I think those who are most serious will paddle out into the deep ocean of the internet to look for it. But, there are plenty of people to want to take the shortest route possible to success. Sometimes, you do them a great favor by not giving too much. How else will they learn to swim? Guidance is always a good thing, pulling a dingy full of snoozing tourists isn't.
I think burnout comes from letting too many people into the dingy at one time.
Focus. Help where you can. Suggest other avenues where you can't. Be willing to help, but be willing to let a writer swim off for another ship if he/she doesn't want to take a turn at paddling with you.

I know. Sounds harsh. Experience has taught me that you give what you can. If someone doesn't like it, wave goodbye and wish them well.

Burnout isn't just about pulling too large a dingy, it's about pulling it all by yourself while the passengers use their paddles to swat bugs.

You are doing well, Joni. Great Blog. Very enthusiastic mentor over at the village.


joni said...


My dinghy got a little overloaded, and like the Titanic it sunk.
But I am like Rose...I survive.

Quoting Raven:"Burnout isn't just about pulling too large a dingy, it's about pulling it all by yourself while the passengers use their paddles to swat bugs."

I say to those who are swatting flies, paddle along or jump ship! You're weighing me and all my hard work and effort down!

Thanks for the kick in the confidence butt. You do wonders for me Raven :-)