22 August 2011

Writer's Block: Burnout

Writer’s Block Caused by Burnout
One of the worst types of writer’s block to face is writer’s burnout. Burnout can occur when writing is a paid task or a task assigned by a senior, such as a teacher. The writing is mandatory, which can introduce elements that make writing spontaneously difficult. This can be one of the most difficult types of writer’s block to overcome.

Writer’s Block for Professional writers
Professional writers can experience writer’s block very easily. It is the job of the professional writer to churn out content for paper and digital pages. The work is assigned and often does not reflect the personal interests of the writer. This can occur with copywriters, web content writers, professional bloggers, professional social media writers, reporters, technical writers and more. When the work is not your own passion, creativity can jam. Since any type of writing is a work of creation, this is a problem.

Anatomy of Writer’s Block From Burnout
Looking at the causes can provide some solutions:
  • It is not your own
  • It is the is the idea of another
  • The end product is the product of another
  • You are rehashing an old subject
  • It is a spin of other writing  
  • It is done under duress or orders
  • Your creativity is muzzled by strict guidelines
  • It does not allow you to share your own thoughts and opinions

Why Burnout Causes Writer’s Block
Looking at the above causes, a solutions seem to drop into sight. All of the above reasons have one element in common. The thoughts are not necessarily your own. You do add a piece of yourself to the writing, but for the most part, it is not your thought. You are putting the ideas of a second party onto the page for the reader to see. Your own thoughts occur, but they must be held back. That is the block.

The Cure for Professional Writer’s Burnout
If the cause of the burnout is not being able to share your thoughts, the solution is quite simple. Share them. Get the ideas out of your head that you have had to push aside. If it is not legal for you to criticize your competition, criticize them. If you are not allowed to share your own opinions, write them down. If you see errors in the system, describe them. Write down those thoughts that you are not allowed to voice. Describe every last detail and withheld thought. Get those thoughts out of your head and onto paper or a computer screen.

It should go without saying that publishing these backstage works might not be a good idea. If the writing you have withheld will get you fired or sued, don’t share it with those who will fire or sue you. Don’t put it online. Don’t write it on the office computer system.

It will often suffice simply to write it down. It is no longer locked away in your head. Sharing it with a spouse or trusted friend can help. The source of the jammed up thought process is loosened or set free by voicing these prohibited ideas. Writing down the forbidden thoughts can set you free to write with more ease. Who knows, you may be able to use what you have written later on.

Freedom from Writer’s Block from Burnout
Unblocking the stuck ideas can get you moving again. You may be stopped because you have withheld too much. Get those ideas out so that the flow of words can continue uninhibited. You may find your professional writing gets easier.