Friday, June 3, 2016

Beware of Burning Yourself Out---by Christine

It is hilarious that I am writing this post late---it should have been published this morning---due to the fact that I am once again dangerously close to burn out. 

Life happens. 

The bane of the writer's career though, is that when life happens we often feel it is an interruption to our writing time.  Oh boy is that backwards, and it took me a long time to learn that. 

Nothing is as frazzled as a writer who is itching to get back to his/her manuscript or much needed marketing tasks and a friend is unexpectedly hanging on the doorbell. Think Bilbo Baggins and those infernal cousins of his when he wanted only to finish his tale, There and Back Again

But here are a few home truths:

  • If you say no to your family and social invitations too often, you lose the freshness of real life, and the lack of that will show in your writing.
  • Worse still, you will increase the depth of your burn out for a longer period of time.

Rachel has already given some great suggestions for your mental and physical health while writing. Today I want to encourage you that when "LIFE" happens, and you have no other option but to put your writing aside for a season, to not be disheartened.

My writing career has developed in a uneven pattern of starts and stops. The times I've had to stop have been when one of my three adult children have got married, or I started a new day job, or selling my house, or a loved one became ill. 

When these things happen to you, do not try and write during these seasons. Set your writing aside and trust the Lord to bring it all together at the right time. 

These past 6 months have been a whirlwind for me. Starting in January I had edits to do for my non-fiction book Finding Sarah Finding Me, while at the same time arranging marketing and writing reams of blogs to promote the May release of Sofi's Bridge. Just as Sofi's Bridge was published my husband and I decided to renovate our home and put it up for sale. At the same time there were preparations to make for my youngest son's wedding in June, and I also held down my part-time job and started the process to take on a second temporary part time job. There was nothing I could do, but get my marketing tasks to a certain point and then leave it. And there was certainly no time to write another book or even attempt to. 

When life happens:

  • Admit you can only do so much.
  • Do what you can, and leave the rest to the Lord.
  • Trust God that your writing career is in His hands.
I found over the years that He is so faithful. While I didn't have time this past month to answer every blog comment, or be on social media as much as my writing peers do when they have a new release, I've been blessed to see the Lord multiply my small efforts in promotion of my latest release. Sofi's Bridge for example won the April Clash of the Titles.

My point is, don't just let life happen and growl that it is hampering your writing career.

  • Embrace your life, the good and the bad.
  • REST physically
  • REST mentally
Here are some portions from Ecclesiastes 2 to ponder.

My heart took delight in all my labor,    and this was the reward for all my toil.
11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done  and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun....

What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless.

A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.


  1. Loved this one Christine. You have shared some really great ideas here.

    Thanks for sharing your message with your Heart"wings" sisters in Christ. j

    1. Thank you Joyce, I hope it encouraged you. I've seen time and time again that the Lord is so faithful.

  2. What a poignant, timely word, Christine! This year has been like no other, with medical woes for husband and me, and I'm fixin' to have a whole 'nother "break" from my 'work' that's already frettin' me...except...I know the One on the phone and in control. I know it is Him Who is sitting me down, and so my spirit and soul welcomes the down time, telling my flesh'll appreciate this..."Get a life!" Hugs and blessings! Thanks for the post!

    1. Life sure happens for all of us, Caryl. Thanks for stopping by. It is always a joy to talk with you. Hugs for now dear friend.

  3. Having launched another book recently, this post caught my eye. I am entering a season of rest at the urging of my physically worn body and the gentle nudging of the Lord. Writing and marketing, along with all of the other hats we wear as Indie writers... can completely take over so easily! I'm looking forward to watching a movie with my family this evening, finishing a book I've been reading here and there, and spending lots more time in recovery! Yes, it seems I need to recover for a few weeks after every book launch. Yes, even sometimes for months. The one I launched in November of 2015 took me three months to recover from. Thanks for writing on this particular topic. It confirms my need to step away for a while, be refreshed, and see to the needs of my family. What a wonderful and timely post!

  4. Oh so true Lisa. Good advice. Enjoy that movie with your children. As for me this afternoon, I plan on an afternoon nap before my real estate agent comes by this evening to discuss offers on our house. Hugs and blessings for now.


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