It’s a new year. It’s going to be filled with new opportunities and chances. But also new stresses and worries. It happens. We’ve got twenty-five thousand things we’re trying to accomplish each day. Between work, shopping for the essentials, or simply trying to keep your head on straight. Sometimes we sit down to write and these overwhelming feelings start to swirl around. We just don’t have anything to say or can’t find the right words. Between everything else going on, we’re fried. We know we have to get this done, but it feels impossible.
We all have it happen. It can cause a lot of extra stress that we honestly don’t have time to deal with. Especially when we set that expectation on ourselves. We don’t want to let anyone else down. When this happens, it’s so easy to give up. Today I wanted to share what I do when I start to feel the engine putter out.
Take a step back.
Remember why you started in the first place. Grab ahold of that feeling of accomplishing your ultimate goal, and let it fill you up. I know it’s hard to keep your eye on the prize, but it helps to stay focused. I know when I get really burnt out and feel like quitting, I try and remind myself all I’ve accomplished and how amazing life will be once I get where I’m going. It’s not an if. It’s a when. And that’s what you must tell yourself. Remind yourself why you started and where you want to go.
Try not to get stress out.
Everyone gets burnt out at some point or another. This happens to every person on earth. I mean everyone. From me to J.K. Rowling. Look at the most prosperous and successful person in the world. They’ve burnt themselves out at least once in the pursuit. This is just another small obstacle. You’ll make it over this mountain and feel powerful at the top.
Remind yourself how far you’ve come.
Look back a year ago. Six months ago. Force yourself to see how far you’ve come and how much you’ve achieved in that amount of time. Think of all the time, blood, sweat, and tears you’ve put in. It’s a lot. If you give it up now, all that work would have been for nothing. Tell yourself you’ve worked too hard to give up now.
Walk away for a bit.
Sometimes you need to get out of your own head and walk away. Take a walk or go for a shop. Do something else on the to-do list. If you must, take a small vacation from work. Just clear your head of everything. But once it’s time to get back to work, get back to work.
Maybe try a change of scenery.
Sometimes being in the same area can block creative juices. Go to a coffee shop, out in the yard, or in the next room. Moving can help clear the cobwebs. If you can’t go anywhere else, try rearranging your surrounding a bit. Add some freshness or newness to the stale room. Light a candle to add a calming scent into the air. The worst thing is to try and stay in the same place and attitude. Don’t let the negative energy stop the creative flow.
Start a completely new project.
Sometimes I’ve sat at the computer trying to write a post for hours, but the cursor just sits there and taunts me. That’s when I move onto a new post entirely. Move on if that idea isn’t flourishing and work on something fresh. Something separate from what’s stressing/burning you out. Get the creative muscle moving. Even if it’s something you do something strictly for your eyes only, at least you’ll be writing. Then when you’re ready, go back to what you need to finish.
Listen to positive, upbeat music.
I don’t know why this isn’t higher on my list because this is typically the first thing I do. I’ll put my headphones in and start playing my iPod. I’ve created a playlist of only inspiration music, but typically I just let my shuffle find whatever it wants. If anything to melancholy comes up, I skip. I try and keep the beat up and the message happy. Nothing lifts your mood like a good song.
Just let the words flow.
The best thing to do is to simply write. Don’t worry about grammar or spelling. Don’t worry about what anyone else will thing. Let the words spill out onto the page. Worry about the rest later.
When all else fails, write about what’s holding you back.
I do this a lot. It’s also why I started doing Life Lately posts. Sometimes writing it down helps you get over the hump. You don’t have to share it, but get it out of your head. Start a journal and get everything bogging you down out of your head. And if you do post it, others can share their struggles. You won’t feel so alone at the end of the day. Keeping it in won’t do you any good. Let it out.
And lastly, remind yourself that you’re strong.
You can accomplish everything you’ve ever dreamed. You can publish that novel. You can grow a successful business and quit your day job. You can do it. Don’t give up now. You’re closer today than you were yesterday. And tomorrow you’ll be even closer than today. Keep going. You’re doing this for you and that’s reason enough to kick some ass.