On Burnout and What I Learned From It

March-Review

March was full of triumphs and struggles for me. After reviewing this month and reflecting on everything that was accomplished, I realize how important it is to celebrate everything that was achieved. So despite that fact that I did not achieve some of the goals that I had set for myself this month, I also learned some very valuable lessons.

The first is that I have a chronic case of burn out. You see, I have this nasty and very unhealthy tendency to create these highly massive and rather unattainable goals. However, it doesn’t stop there. Whilst rushing to not only achieve those goals, I also have this intense desire to demolish them and out-perform them. This then just results in me wearing myself too thin and ultimately, I burn out. I don’t know if many people struggle with this problem, but it’s been something that I have battled with for pretty much my whole life. Sadly, I’m very much a perfectionist. If I create a perfect plan, I hold myself to its perfect execution and that’s just not reasonable or realistic. Lesson learned: make realistic goals and don’t beat myself up if I don’t hit them, it’s okay, it’s not the end of the world and I WILL live if I don’t do all the things. >.<

The second thing I learned is the importance of taking a break when I need one when it comes to my writing. However, the more important lesson learned was giving my work a break when it needs it. I realized that these are two entirely different things. I was burned out, but so was my work. My solution? Put it on hold. I told myself I’d come back to it at some undeterminable time, with the promise that it would be soon (no more than two weeks) and effectively gave myself a no-pressure break from Dreamweaver. The result was new inspiration for a budding WIP that I’m really excited for. What I find funny is that the moment I let go of the pressure I put on myself, new inspiration and creative ideas started flowing once more.

As a result, this newfound obsession, I mean writing project, has not only restored my love for wanting to write again, but it has also restored my passion for Dreamweaver, my desire to write for the blog and has reinvigorated me with a more positive perspective as I look ahead and make plans for April. Lesson Learned: take and give breaks, they are good things.

If you’d like to check out the new WIP, hop on over to my Pinterest board and check  it out in its early stages! Set in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, we follow Johnathan Isaac, his eclectic crew of friends and the not-so-secret secrets everybody already knows.

March In Review

Books Read

I read some really amazing books this month!

The-Winner's-Curse

I totally am slaying my Spring TBR and am getting nervous that at the clip I’m going the library isn’t going to be able to keep up with me. None of my holds have come through yet and I’m getting a little nail-bitingly nervous!

March-Library-Haul

I also ran across three books that I just couldn’t get through, as unfortunate as that was for me. For one, I simply couldn’t connect to the main character. Sad times. For another, I was interested in the story but the pacing was just incredibly slow and I found myself wanting to fall asleep while reading it. Does that necessarily make it a bad book? No, I don’t think so. However, it does mean that it isn’t a book for me. The next DNF I was highly anticipating and it just really did not capture me. It felt like a whole lot of stuff was happening which led to a whole lot of nothing. So I moved on to bigger and better things.

Red-Queen-and-Glass-Sword

  • A Thousand Pieces of You (review forthcoming)
  • The Love that Split the World (review forthcoming)
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses (DNF’ed)
  • Jane Steele (DNF’ed)
  • The Winner’s Curse (review forthcoming)
  • The Year We Fell Apart (review forthcoming)
  • Glass Sword (DNF’ed)
  • Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda (currently reading and LOVING IT!!!)

Posts Published

I finally reviewed a book! However, now I’m behind once more with all the books I read this month and choose not to review right away. Opps!

Ignite-Me-and-A-Thousand-Pieces-of-You

I also shamelessly flaunted the adorableness of my children because let’s be honest here, they’re ridiculously cute. I am also still drooling over my Spring TBR, because I’m obnoxious like that, and I shared some music that inspires me while I write Dreamweaver! Check it out!

Last but not least, I hit another personal record for monthly page views! So all in all, March was a fairly decent blogging month.

Lifely Review

A lot of writing happened in March. Not so much in the blogging department; however, book writing really made some leaps this month!

Accomplishments

  • Finished draft 15 of Dreamweaver!  Whoo hoo.
  • Received feedback on draft 15 from 1 critique partner and 2 beta readers.
  • Turned feedback from draft 15 into draft 16, which included a new beginning that I feel very proud of and get super excited about each time I re-read.
  • Started work on draft 17 of Dreamweaver, which has a heavy focus on world building and filtering out lazy writing. Because I am a lazy toad sometimes.
  • Snagged myself 5 new beta readers, all amazing book bloggers who I’ve admired for ages and I’m just so honored to have them.
  • Had an 8-hour writing day. It was exhausting. It was glorious. It made every piece of my body ache the next day. >.<
  • The kiddos took off to my parents house for two weeks for their own impromptu “Spring Break”. Giving me time to organize things at home!
  • Easter came and egg hunting happened and it was glorious and amazing and just full of adorableness!

What’s Next?

April Reads

There are a lot of books I’d like to read in April, but I know I won’t get to them all. Either way, I like to have options.

  • Vampire Academy
  • Carry On
  • The Winner’s Crime
  • Golden Son
  • Rebel of the Sands
  • The Great American Whatever
  • Dreamology (Release Day 12-April-16)
  • The Raven King (Release Day 26-Apr-16)

Writing Goals

  • Edit Chapters 21-41 of Dreamweaver
  • Write 20,000 of new WIP, current working title “The Not-So-Secret Secrets of Johnathan Isaac”
  • Write and post 8 blog articles

To Improve

  • Focus on progress
  • Keep a positive perspective
  • Go back to the Bullet Journal Basics
  • Grant forgiveness on unachieved goals
  • Be kind to self
  • Be confident, be happy, be you

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17 thoughts on “On Burnout and What I Learned From It

  1. YASSSSSSS for this whole thing (but mainly for the fact that VA is on the TBR list :D) You are amazing and I’m so proud of you, you make me look like a lazy potato. Excited for all the things and we’re going to make April our bitch 😛

    1. HEHE!! I’m reading VA as soon as I’m done with Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda (which is a really really awesome book btw, in case you are looking for another read, lol!)

      I love you too!!! And thank you for being here every step of the way through every up and down! You’re totally not a lazy potato though. You are so kick ass and you inspire me all the time! ❤

      April is so gonna be our! "Who run the world? Tristen and Nic!" HEHE, that's totally how the song goes, right!?!?

      1. I’ll add it to my TBR, honestly at the moment reading/writing is so low on the list XD. Holiday is over so it’s back to work and I have pole everyday, my comp is next month. SO def a lazy potato with everything except that.

        And yes that is totally how the song goes 😛 from now on at least LOL

  2. I don’t exactly burn out like you do, but I do feel like everything is my responsibility. And I can’t really distinguish between what’s truly important or what can actually wait for a while. It makes for a very stressful lifestyle and I get extremely tired. That is mostly work related though, I try to avoid it in my private life.
    I so understand why you DNF Glass Sword … I was so disappointed with that book. I really enjoyed Red Queen to be honest, even if I know it wasn’t the most original story in some aspects. But the sequel was dreadful.
    I hope you’ll love Carry On and Golden Son though. They were both 5-star reads for me.

    1. I totally understand that, I struggle with setting priorities and then get overwhelmed. This week has been better though, I wrote a list of ALL the things I wanted to do, then slashed through the things that not even Wonder Woman could accomplish and gave myself something that I felt was manageable. So far the week has been stress free and I’m meeting the goals that I wanted. Taking the pressure off definitely helps.
      I was heartbroken to put down Glass Sword. I really really did enjoy Red Queen and I just could not get into GS. At all. I tried and tried and then said ‘screw it’. Usually if a book doesn’t impress me after the first page, that’s a pretty good indicator that I’ll be putting that book down. I did slug through for a bit but it just wasn’t worth it when I saw Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda beckoning me. Lol!
      I am sure I will love Carry On and Golden Son. You know how much I loved RR so Golden Son is a for sure instalove, lol. And I have a really really good feeling about Carry On! ^.^

      1. That sounds like a good plan. I like making lists. I actually constantly make them, but I am not very good at sticking with them.
        I loved Red Queen too, but GS was really dreadful until the last 50 pages. I cannot help but want a certain someone redeemed. He has turned into a reverse-Warner though and that scares me a little.

      2. What!?!?!? Umm… I like don’t even know what to say. I feel like I want to know now but still don’t want to read it, I’d rather be told. Lol! Obsessed is no bueno and total crazy town! 😂

  3. I like that: “celebrate everything that was achieved.” I don’t get burned out but I am hard on myself when I don’t accomplish a goal or forget to do something or mess up. I usually leave New Year’s Day as the day that I reflect on my entire year and see what went well and what didn’t and usually I feel better after writing that but I think I’ll start doing a monthly reflection as well and start celebrating what was achieved so I’ll feel more positive.

    1. I’m glad that your considering doing a monthly review! My first was last month and boy it was really enlightening because I saw the things that went right, the things that weren’t working and I tried to cut out the things that weren’t serving me from February as I went through March. So I definitely think doing a review is helpful and therapeutic for the soul. Here’s the link if you want to check out February’s Review. February Review: On Books, Writing and Life

      Celebrating the small things are totally just as important as the big things and sometimes is really hard to remember all the little things we do that are awesome, that’s why I write it down or else I will forget and then beat myself up over everything that is left to do.

  4. Phew! Going through your lists of achievements, I’m impressed (especially if that’s you giving yourself a bit of a break!) I wish I had time to read so many (any) books…always hopping from job to job.
    Sounds like writing’s taken on a new lease of life – always good! Just make sure you keep up those occasional breaks! 😄

    1. The breaks are important and I do need to remember to take them so I don’t end up floundering for an entire week feeling tired and aimless, or even for a few days. I really is my biggest struggle because I’ll push really hard one week and make it through half of the next before I crash. However this week has been much better, more positive with a heavy focus on manageable goals and slowly working to accomplish them.
      Writing has picked up, editing is back on track and overall things are looking brighter. Break are good things. 🙂

      1. That sounds like a whole lot of positive – slower but surer. Keep at it! 😄
        Oh, I meant to ask you, what does ‘DNF’ed’ mean?

  5. Ah! Right! Should’ve guessed from what you said in the post. Yes, there’s so many good and fantastic books, it really is a waste of your time to read books that don’t *reach* you. Mind you, sometimes, I’ve started a book and really struggled (taken days even) to push myself past the first couple of chapters, only to find that in chapter 3 or 4 it suddenly takes off, and is as if written by a different author! I think it’s especially one if the problems of self-published writers, who don’t know the old rule about starting the ‘real’ book 2 chapters in! Many (especially the ones that aren’t being guided by the editor of a publishing company) don’t see that they need to return to the beginning once finished, and make sure the beginning of the book is as good as the rest of it, where they wrote more immersed in the story.
    I believe there are many books out there that would be so much more readable if folk only imagined a person picking their book off the shelf in a bookshop and understood that it has to make an impact from the beginning.
    Well, enough of that…don’t want to get me started on that…I get so frustrated when I see good writing later in a book, but can’t face going through the beginning to get there!
    Ah well.
    Have another good week sweetie 😊

    1. Everything you said makes complete sense! I usually give it the fist 100 pages and if the book doesn’t take off then I put it down. I still feel guilty but less so because I think, “I gave you a fair shot”.

      Have a great weekend and another amazing week to follow! ❤

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