No writer likes to admit to it, and discussing it is akin to angering the gods. Yet lately I’ve been seeing more writer friends suffering from overwhelm/ depression/burnout than ever, and I hate it for them. And I recognize it because, well … where the hell do you think I’ve *been* for the past two years? (SWERVE in hardcover, and then paperback the next year, and then the foreign editions–what you were seeing was stardust, my friends. It was a book written long ago, and anything that happened in the past two years was fallout.)
I haven’t spoken publicly about my burnout (outside of one writer’s con) because at first it was to painful, and later–well, honestly, I didn’t want to be a writer anymore. I have too many other things that I want to do and be–things that I’m good at and people who love me–to let this work make me miserable. I’d rather opt-out. Quit fast and hard like I do all the bad shit in my life. Who cares about writing if you’re doing it at the expense of living?
I can go into the burnout in another post, but I want anyone who might be suffering silently to know that you’re not alone (and that you don’t have to participate in your own misery). I also wanted to share the below picture:
It’s a page from THE ART OF SLOW WRITING, which I’m reading and really enjoying. I am writing again, and I’m not just writing more slowly, I’m doing *everything* more slowly. I’m being *really* picky about what I allow into any given day. It must be additive in some way, to me (if I’m allowing it in) or for others (if I’m dishing it out).
I don’t really do resolutions, but one thing I’m clinging to fiercely at the beginning of this year is the culmination of what I’ve been working toward in *every* area of my life for these last two years: to do fewer things better with fewer, better things.
(Just roll that around for a minute, you’ll get it.)
And because I’m slowing down–doing less, but digging deep–I seem to be getting more of *all* the right things done. I’m certainly enjoying each a hell of a lot more … and for the first time in a long while that includes the writing.