I haven’t posted anything here or anywhere else for that matter for about a week.

You see, I was slammed with end of the month client work and I was writing from sunup to sundown.

And yes, even waking up an hour earlier each day to squeeze in my hour of romance writing.

Rather than continue pushing myself at that pace I took a few days off from writing. I went rock climbing. I cleaned the house, so cathartic:-D. And I watched the entire full season of The Tudors on Netflix. It was heavenly.  (I’m so loving Anne Bolyn!)

The point?

It’s very easy to burnout. When you’re going full throttle at your goal and writing in every spare minute it’s easy to become overloaded. When that happens your writing turns to shit. Sorry to say it but that’s exactly what happens. Your brain begins to rebel. It needs a break and like an insolent child it rudely stops functioning at the level you need it to.

The solution is simple.

Recognize the signs of burnout and coddle your bratty brain. When it needs downtime, give it downtime. Watch trashy television. Get outside and do something fun. Take a day or two to read those romance novels you have by your bedside. Then with determination and faith, pick up your manuscript and begin writing again.

So How Do You Recognize The Signs of Burnout?

I imagine it’s different for everyone. I find that my plotting is first affected. I start writing cliches. My characters and the plot lose originality. And I stop caring. I become more focused on word count than the actual quality of those words.  I also feel much less enthusiastic about the writing process.

The Real Challenge

The real challenge for you may not be recognizing the impending burnout but rather having the faith to stop writing for a few days. Writers must achieve a balance of determination/discipline and faith. Faith that the words and the right story will come to you.

Faith that your work will eventually be published. Faith that you are good enough to become published. When your brain is telling you that you need a break and your disciplined side is screaming NO! you must have enough faith in yourself and the process to listen to your brain.