Writing a book is a long and emotional process that can take months or even years to finish depending on how much time you dedicate to writing your book. When you’re in the thick of it, you may start to feel overwhelmed about the number of pages that you have left to write, feel stuck on a section you’re currently writing, or feel down about your abilities… All of these are signs of author fatigue.
What is Author Fatigue and What Does it Look Like
Author fatigue is when you are mentally struggling with your writing and you feel tired or overwhelmed about your writing. It’s a literal exhaustion from writing that leads to burnout and is why many people who start writing a book don’t finish. You may lose motivation through the writing process or struggle to write about the concepts that you had laid out in your outline. The mental block and writer’s block can persist for days or weeks, leaving you frustrated and questioning why you decided to write a book in the first place.
Writing a book is a grueling process that takes a lot of time, dedication, and support from others in order to see it through to the end. It’s completely normal to be struggling with author fatigue at any point during the writing process and it can take shape in a number of ways. All the examples listed above are signs of author fatigue: feeling overwhelmed about how much you have left to write, feeling stuck on a certain section or concept, and feeling like your writing isn’t good enough for your audience. Questioning the purpose of writing your book, experiencing fear that your audience will never even read your work, and lack of motivation to write for days at a time are also signs of author fatigue.
Top 4 Ways to Push Through It
Author fatigue builds on itself. Worrying day in and day out about how your writing will turn out can lead to you not wanting to write at all. The important thing is to recognize the signs and to take time for yourself to recover and push through it.
Take a mental health day. If you are trying to write on a schedule like writing at least 500 words a day, take a break for a day. De-stress for a day that you are supposed to be working and give yourself permission to take time for you. Use the time that you would have spent writing to do something relaxing or something that relaxes you. This can be taking a walk in a park, meditating, enjoying a relaxing bath, or spending time with a friend or family. Whatever you need to do in order to take your mind away from your writing so that when you come back to it, you are able to write with a clear head.
Take a step back from your writing. There may be times where you may need more than a day to get re-energized and get back into a writing routine. If you start to notice that you are really struggling with your writing and overthinking how everything will come together, you can allow yourself to put down your manuscript for a week. Take time for yourself and other tasks that you need to focus on, take a mini-vacation, do what you feel is right and what will re-energize you, and let your thoughts on your manuscript sit in the back of your mind.
Do some things that you’ve been putting off during this time because you’ve prioritized your writing and your book. You may come up with some good ideas and concepts that you jot down during that week that you want to remember when you go back to writing. When that week is up you’ll be refreshed and ready to continue where you left off. Though, you want to make sure that either you or someone else is holding yourself accountable to the timetable that you set.
Write about other things other than your manuscript. Writing about other topics that don’t revolve around your book topic can give you a jolt of inspiration and help you continue to meet your writing goals. It can be exhausting writing continually about the same topic. Having a change of pace and writing about something else can help you push through those points and keep the creative juices flowing. Even if you take time to write about other topics, you are still putting words on paper and are engaging the creative process. You don’t need to have some big topic to write about, you can write about your day or something that’s been on your mind through journaling, or write a creative piece you’ve been meaning to write. This will keep you in the rhythm of writing and will help you get through author fatigue.
Do other book related things. (Buy a book stand, considering who will write a forward, create an about me page, update your book’s website, etc.). If you are struggling to get words down on paper but want to keep making progress on your book, you can do certain things that are for your book that aren’t necessarily writing. These can be finding a designer for your front cover, thinking about the title of your book, buying small things for your book like a display for your book, etc. These are things that are contributing to your book even if you aren’t focusing on the writing part. You are able to give yourself a break from your writing and able to prioritize other parts of your book so that you are still working on towards the finished product and it will help with making sure you don’t get fatigued from writing.
If you are struggling with getting your manuscript done and aren’t sure how to keep going and keep writing, click here to learn about the three people that you need in your corner to help you through the process. Writing a book is also an emotional process that can take a toll on you and stop you from writing, click here to learn about the ways to handle the unexpected emotions that come up during your writing and how to handle the emotional overwhelm.
If you are a purpose-driven author with a story to tell and lives that you want to impact but aren’t sure where to begin, contact us today to see if PYP is the right fit for you.