Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Interrupting the Program Because My Brain is Fried

For those of you who are expecting the sixth and final installment of the ‘Lesson’s from the Newsroom’ series, I apologize. I felt the need interrupt the regular programming to bring you this special blogging report.
Art by Amanda Fanger - "The Burned Out Writer"
I wanted to take the liberty of a few hundred words and update you guys on my goings on in life on this side of the keyboard.

Since my awesome word count in the month of June, my life has gotten pretty crazy and I’ve done relatively little writing... or reading... or any creative endeavor.

I know, I know! I’m a failed writer!

Honestly, I have no idea where July went to. I just know that life got busy after July 1st.

Today Author Jody Hedlund helped me diagnose one of my problems on her blog. This ailment is one of the biggest enemies a writer can face, she says. It’s called burnout.

After reading this article, I realized that a lot of my writing (what little I’ve done) this past month has been more fluff than stuff of value. There’s not really been anything with some meat behind the bones. There’s been nothing in my writing worth a reader sinking their teeth into.

Life is cluttered and I need to follow my own advice, cut back, to chase after joy, as Jody says.

My busy life of family affairs, county fairs and being sleep impaired has drained me. Oh and work. Reporting truly is an all-consuming career choice. And yesterday I woke up with a head cold too. Being hazy-headed and pulling long hours at work don’t mix.

August is CampNaNoWriMo and I was planning to write the second half of my WiP that I had begun in June. So I went to their website and set up an account and added the cool little badge at the side of my blog.

That’s about as far as I got.

One of my biggest problems with the lack of word count lately has been that I’ve succumb to my bad habit of oversleeping in the morning. I’ve tried almost everything I can think of to get myself up on time. I’m now onto ‘an-alarm-clock-in-each-room-of-my-house.’ That’s worked for about a week now, but one of these days, I’ll end up sleeping through them all.

On her blog, Jody talked about a time that life got so hectic, she had to completely stop writing. She says she took seven years off and when she came back, she wrote a bestseller.

Well, my summer got busy and I ended up taking off a month and a half without meaning to. I want to get back at it soon. I know that bestseller is just sitting there, waiting to be finished.

Next Thursday is my local writer’s group and while I know that I won’t be accomplishing my CampNaNo goal this month, I’m going to at least challenge myself to write something new for that meeting.

And I might have to be making some other changes to this program pretty soon too.

Stay tuned!

How have your summer writing goals been going for you?


  1. Sounds like burn-out Amanda or perhaps sheer physical exhaustion. Rest and more rest will refresh those parts where inspiration, joy and creativity lie. Once you are back on track physically then the flow will return. Mine(as a poet)had been blocked for years until a respite unleashed a fresh wave of thought and inspiration. Yours will return. Just be patient, try not to get anxious and take good care of yourself first.

    1. Trying to stay calm and not panic or get anxious is hard. I keep beating myself up, thinking that I should be writing even before allowing the ink well refill.

      Thanks for your encouragement Joy!

  2. As an faithful blog reader, I haven't seen any fluff from this end. But, I understand what you are talking about and it happens. I think it is part of the process. Part of the life we choose as writers. And, you have to figure out how to deal with it. I agree with Joy, the first thing you need to do is take care of yourself physically. The rest will work itself out.

    1. Thanks Sydney - you are a continued sorce of encouragement and inspiration!

  3. There is nothing in the world wrong with taking a break. You deserve to go easy on yourself sometimes, you're young and you work like a fully-grown-adult. (You work your butt off) AND your plate is full with family/friends/social life stuff. I'm proud of you for taking a step back!

    1. Katie, thank you so much! I know if ever I need a listening ear, I can turn to you because you just "get" it! (I've said that before, but I don't think it can be said too much!)

  4. Thanks for the mention, Amanda! I'm glad my article helped inspire some internal reflection! I wish you all the best as you move forward with your writing! :-)

    1. You're welcome and thank you for stopping by to comment! Write on!


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