Tips for Writers: How to Keep Yourself From Burning Out

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Scenario 1: You’re spacing out, watching your cursor blink, ideas elusive and thoughts escaping you. You’ve probably asked yourself, “What am I going to write about?” for the past three hours -- or three days.

Scenario 2: You’re cranky because of the amount of writing you need to get done. How many words is article going to be? How many subjects and topics? How many titles and subheads? You’re drowning from all the requirements with a looming deadline. HELP!

In which scenario are you?

If you’re dealing with the first one, you are most likely oblivious to the pressure of the deadline and are looking for some inspiration to fuel your creativity. Creativity doesn’t always come easy, but there are quick hacks to get you going.

If you’re dealing with the second one, you need a method to organize and speed up your writing process. Regardless, you’re stuck in a rut and need to get out. So here, we’ve rounded up quick tips to keep you from burning out:

Find one to three distractions.

The millennials are multi-taskers and that’s probably why they find it so hard to focus on just one task. On the other hand, that’s also what makes them highly effective -- they can switch from one task to the next with ease.

How many browsers do you have open? Browsing from YouTube to BuzzFeed to social media sites -- toss in a music streaming app in there -- that’s probably how a normal work day goes for you. Distractions are healthy -- it allows your mind to reboot and refresh, and could probably lead you to the idea you’re looking for.

Start to stop.

If you’re stuck in a rut and you need to get moving, that means getting yourself working even if you think your ideas aren’t good enough. You’ve most likely took enough break and are looking for the best idea to get started.

Type something -- anything -- don’t self-edit. That’s the way to get the ideas flowing. Sooner or later you’ve got a couple of sentences in and that’s enough to get the ball rolling.

Hack your way through it.

Twenty titles in 20 minutes -- that’s a minute for each title. Not challenged enough? How about 30 titles in 10 minutes? A little pressure never hurt anyone -- but then don’t push yourself too hard. Again, ideas don’t have to be Pulitzer-prize worthy; this is just to get you thinking.

Try the Pomodoro technique and see how segmented time frames can trigger your creativity and boost productivity. Brainstorming is vital in finding good ideas and making them great. Listing and gathering as many ideas as you can may challenge and inspire you help you get rid of the burn out.

Set clear schedules.

As boring as it sounds, schedules are necessary to make sure you don’t dwell on a task more than you need to. Burning out means you’re doing something too much -- and breaks are not in order. Take proper breaks and the right amount of sleep. Have fun. If you play a sport, or an instrument, or a video game -- don’t skimp on it.

Schedules don’t necessarily mean falling into a regular routine, but mean more of setting boundaries on tasks. Try to finish an article in two hours and proofread all of your content by end of day -- see what works best for you.

Are you looking for more writing gigs to build your Freelancer portfolio? Bid on writing jobs today.

 
Maita Piedra
Maita Piedra Staff

Social Media at Freelancer.com

Obsessed with compelling digital content. Most likely lurking around Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics rather than my neighbor's backyard BBQ. Probably smarter than the average 90's kid/millennial. Hypercritical-perfectionist, caffeine-infused beach bum.

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