The title really says it all, doesn’t it?
I’m coming back to the writing world, hat in hand. I went hard at the start of 2021, trying to make it as a real writer. I worked hard, too hard in fact, pushing myself to make my dreams come true as fast as I can. I started an Instagram account to document my journey. I was going to Make It.
And then suddenly, I wasn’t.
The desire to write went away almost completely. As I discussed in my post “The Hobby to Hatred Pipeline“, I had burned out on another hobby in an attempt to make it a side-hustle. My newsletter, started in September of last year in an attempt to rekindle my love of writing, made it 5 weeks before I couldn’t stand the thought of writing it again. I went on a “workation” in October to try and get things jump-started, but spent the weekend watching Twitch streamers and (eventually) going home early because I wasn’t feeling well.
I was well and truly burnt out, the thing I’d spend all 5 issues of my newsletter (now archived on my blog) trying to fend off. Slow living didn’t work (though I’m still trying). Divorcing myself from the productivity mindset didn’t work. Knowing I’ve burnt out on hobbies before didn’t work. I could dish out the advice, but I couldn’t take it.
What did work? Therapy, and a lot of it. It’s still an ongoing process. I’ve only come back to writing seriously again in the last couple of weeks, and that’s more out of a desire to finish a project more than anything else. But I’m discovering that I’m a decent writer (I certainly amuse myself when reading my work, for what that’s worth), and that – if I don’t push too hard – I can produce words again. Writing every weekday with the awesome members of Wordmakers helps me know that I’m not alone in my writerly struggles.
And I’m working towards finishing a project. My first novel, Accidental Magic, is almost done. I hope to start serializing it on Patreon in the next couple of months before publishing it by the end of the year. I’ll be posting more about it here as well as on Instagram as we get closer to launch.
I am by no means cured of burnout. I am honestly a little scared to have deadlines again – to push towards completing a project and making it public – but I’m happy for it to be a possibility again. I’m slowly spooling the social media machine back up so that I can tell you all about the cool things I’m working on. I hope you’ll join me on my journey.
Noise du Jour
During my time away from writing, I listened to a lot of new-to-me music. My husband had played the band SPARKS for me before, but it didn’t really click until I heard their song “Edith Piaf (Said It Better Than Me),” off their 2017 album “Hippopotamus.” With deft lyrics written by keyboardist Ron Mael, brother and lead singer Russel Mael sings of a rockstar life that was more ordinary than extraordinary, and the regret that comes from looking back on that from old age. The video is gorgeous too, using Coraline-esque puppets of the brothers Mael to reflect the tone of the song. It is quite possibly my favorite SPARKS song, and that is saying a lot considering how long and varied their career has been.
- Here’s a one-player TTRPG where you play the owner of a bookstore trying to build a successful business.
- Mia Tsai explores the four act structure for novels through the metaphor of Texas Hold’em.
- S. Qioyui Lu discusses why the fanfic vignette hasn’t translated over to genre or litfic yet (something I’m keeping in mind for Patreon bonuses).
- Are you watching Becca Syme’s Quitcast yet? If not, now’s a good time to get into it as she launches a series on intuitive writing.
- Via author R.M. Virtues, I discovered that the creators of my beloved Story Engine decks have created a deck for world building as well. Get your preorders in!