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Green Bay
11:30-3 at 1951 Restaurant, 1951 Bond Street, Green Bay, WI

Human Trafficking

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Chippewa Falls
10-12:30 at Chippewa Falls Public Library, Wissota Room, Chippewa Falls, WI

Writer’s Police Academy

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10-12:30 at Red Oak Writing Studio 11709 W Cleveland Ave. West Allis, WI

The Dramatic Approach to Writing Dialogue

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WisRWA Newsletter

How to Avoid Writing Burnout

We all know about writer’s block, yes? That nagging problem where all of a sudden the words and ideas stop flowing. Usually after a day or so, the ideas start flowing again.

No, I’m talking about a real burnout where everything seems to have run into a solid brick wall. You see, I’ve been writing constantly from the mid-nineties, and crafted some interesting stories, if I do say so myself. This time, even the characters were complaining. Nothing was working in the plot, and it didn’t make sense. I was trying to force it to get another book finished.

I took a deep breath, and decided to give writing a rest for a while. Taking the summer off seems to have rejuvenated me a bit. I was getting ideas on how I could rework the manuscript.

I hope this isn’t a permanent thing, but just a glitch of some sort. After all, I’m a few months away from seventy. Nothing on my body is working the way it’s supposed to.

If this happens to you, I would go with the flow. Maybe it’s your brain saying, “I need a vacation.” Ship your thoughts off to someplace else, like a good book, and kick back and relax.

by: Ilona Fridl

Ilona Fridl has eight books out with The Wild Rose Press. She is a member of RWA since 2002, and is active in the local chapter. Also a former student of All Writers in Waukesha, Wisconsin. She lives in Southeastern Wisconsin with her husband, Mark.

6 Responses to “How to Avoid Writing Burnout”

  1. Ilona Fridl says:

    You might like to know, I’m off and running on a new story. Have faith, you can get over this!

  2. Tena Stetler says:

    Great advise. So glad to hear you are writing again. Good for you, keep it up!

  3. Hi Ilona, great blog post. I’m going through this now and am taking a month off from writing. I think it’s starting to work, as I’m getting little nudges here and there. Hopefully I can start again after Thanksgiving with a fresh eye.

  4. cb clark says:

    Glad you’re writing again. Nothing’s worse than writer’s block. I’m stumped right now. I’m trying to start a new story, but nothing excites me and I keep staring at the blank page. Maybe I’ll try what you suggest and take some time away from my computer. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Christine says:

    Thanks for the advice. Writers are human. Hope the break helps.

  6. Great post. I think this happens to every writer at some point. (Even Stephen King “retired” and took some time off.) I think you have the right approach to stop forcing it and let things go for a while. Sometimes books need to “percolate” for a time before they come together. And writing takes serious energy, emotional and physical, and sometimes our lives become too challenging in other areas and we just don’t have what it takes to write. Although I have found I write best when the rest of my life isn’t very satisfying. If things are too good, I don’t have the same passion to get lost in my story. Best wishes on your future writing endeavors.

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