How to Keep Writing When You Feel Completely Burnt Out

I’m exhausted. My brain is fried. But the thought of not writing doesn’t work for me.

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I spent the last four months reediting, partially rewriting, and reformatting a series of mine. I got my rights back last year, and there were things in each of the books that I wanted to fix. I knew it would be crazy to do it all at once, but I wanted them rereleased all together.

I wouldn’t wish that headache on anyone.

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Do I regret doing it? Absolutely not. I got to revisit a world that I loved putting together. I gave each of the characters a little more life, more emotion, and a better reason to be doing what they’re doing. And I fell in love with the main guy just a little more than I had been before.

Two of the three main books are now released. Book three will hopefully be done in the next week. Just My Luck, which is a novella, has been released for the first time. This book is the story of Megan’s brother, Adam, and his run-in with Louie the leprechaun.

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So, now I stare at my computer, wondering what I should be doing next. I have six books waiting to be written in various worlds. After pushing myself for the the last few months to get this done, my brain has a hard time thinking it can relax and just . . . write.

Writing can be hard.  You’re putting a piece of your being on paper. Your very soul. So how do you do that when all you want to do is curl up in a ball? Start small.

When I was young, I would sit at a computer, pick out a name and an animal, and just start writing. It worked great, and the stories just flowed.

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Recently, I joined a group where each Wednesday we write one hundred word stories. Some prompts are difficult. Others are very easy. I have come up with a few new book ideas from those prompts.

My first luck book, Stolen Luck, actually came from a simple writing exercise. The prompt was “Your worst day ever.” I immediately wondered what it would be like if someone had never had a worst day. If everything always went right. So I started writing, and suddenly a leprechaun appeared and offered Megan all the luck she could ever want—for a price. It was unexpected, but it also ended up becoming three books and a novella. I’m currently writing a fourth book as well.

My biggest advice for those who are burnt out is, don’t give up. Take a break for a bit. Go read, do other hobbies you’ve put on the back burner, watch a movie—but come back and try again.

As I said before, start small. There’s a great link here where you can get random first lines. See where that first line can take you.

Catch up on your blog posts or journal. Loosen your mind to allow it to think.

Stories will hit you when you’re most relaxed. I have found myself scrambling for a piece of paper or my notepad on my phone at church, because a story idea struck while I was singing a hymn.

So what do you do to relax and get back to writing?

About Jaclyn Weist

Jaclyn is an Idaho farm girl who grew up loving to read. She developed a love for writing as a senior in high school, when her dad jokingly said she was the next Dr. Seuss (not even close, but very sweet). She met her husband, Steve, at BYU, and they have six happy, crazy children who encourage her to keep writing. After owning a bookstore and running away to have adventures in Australia, they settled back down in their home in Utah. Jaclyn now spends her days herding her kids to various activities and trying to remember what she was supposed to do next. She has published six books in a year, and her mind is still reeling from the awesomeness. Her books include Endless: A Modern Cinderella Tale; The Princess and the Prom Queen; Magicians of the Deep; the Luck series–Stolen Luck, Twist of Luck, Best of Luck, and Just My Luck, a novella.

5 thoughts on “How to Keep Writing When You Feel Completely Burnt Out

    1. Thank you! I’m so thrilled to be doing it on my own now. It’s awesome to have a book in your hands, but when you know you did the formatting and everything else? It’s just that much better.

  1. I agree. You have to allow yourself whatever time you need. After writing a crazy large word count last year, I took seven months off to rejuice. I picked at my manuscript, but mostly I just read and did fun things. After that down time, I was ready to go. I’ve been at it strong again since September.

    Good luck with Luck!

    1. Seven months is a long break, but sometimes you just need to! I wrote a page in a new book the other day, and I had to rest after that. I’ll get it though. 🙂

      And thanks! I’m excited to see what people think of the new Luck series.

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