We all know what the so-called writer’s block is — it’s that process where you feel nothing and you can’t even produce any new work. You’re barricaded off from the creative flow before you can even get started.
Curiously, I’ve been told that writer’s block is just the layman’s term for depression. Yes, that depression.
Depression, as defined by the National Health Service, is more than just a process of feeling sad. It’s an ongoing state of hopelessness, restlessness, and unhappiness where you lose interest in many things.
Some describe depression as the absence of feeling, where one is floating alone in the water. Instead of being in control, the tide is gently drifting you further and further away from meaning.
The writer’s fatigue is fundamentally similar. The difference here is that this sense of dread occurs after writing for very long periods of time. In other words, you are going through burnout.
Burnout, as defined by international behavioural consultant Liggy Webb, is a state of perpetual physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that is caused by having long periods of stress.
When we feel this sense of overwhelming dread, burnout drains us and makes it incredibly hard to continue onward. As the work-life balance gets blurred for some stay-at-home professionals, more and more people might be increasingly prone to getting burnout.
To keep ourselves in check, we have to ensure that our emotional intelligence (EI) is able to help us ward off those feelings. As researchers have noted, people with higher levels of EI are more likely to have optimal life outcomes, including job and educational-related successes.
Sure, the darkness doesn’t go away quickly, but there are many things you can do to help better yourself, all in the name of higher EI. For example, you can create a stress management plan. From this plan, you can identify the sources behind your stress, and brainstorm a plethora of strategies to minimize exposure to such stress.
This may include:
- Pursuing a new hobby or craft
- Moving to another environment
- Working on a different task
- Pursuing a mindfulness activity
- Making time commitments more realistic
- Taking a small break or nap
With EI, it’s always good to be mindful of your physical energy reserves, your emotional reserves, your mental reserves, and even your spiritual reserves.
While you might be powering through the onslaught and deluge of tedious writing, just remember you have peers (both offline and online) to help support and edit your work.
You can always break up your writing into smaller and more meaningful subsections. Plus, you can write in short bursts of 10–20 minutes, leave your computer to do a physical exercise, and then get back to typing. As mentioned earlier, you can work at another location or room if things are getting too confusing. Finally, you do have to take care of your health needs (take that quick nap, drink that water, and eat that meal in the next room).
While it’s not easy to be fighting a potential spell of writer’s fatigue, it’s possible to power through with the help of all these little self-care rituals.
As the author, Anne Lamott, once wrote,
“When we care for ourselves as our very own beloved — with naps, healthy food, clean sheets, a lovely cup of tea — we can begin to give in wildly generous ways to the world, from abundance.”
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