27 May 2021: Burnout & Changes
I hit burnout last week. After struggling to keep up with audio editing, feeling uninspired with my works-in-progress, and enduring the day-to-day at my job, I was teetering on the edge. The news that Just Friends was being taken down from Galatea was the final straw that broke the camel's back, the push that sent me tumbling down, the match in the powder barrel...
And that's okay.
Getting the story published on Galatea was a big deal for me. Readers were interested in my story and I had a chance to make money off of it, which would bring me a bit closer to self-publishing. Unfortunately, my story didn't get much reader engagement.
When I got the email, it was the first thing I saw that morning. I was told that my contract was being terminated and Just Friends would be taken down. Naturally, that colored my experience for the day: not great. By the end of the day, I had suffered through various other mishaps and irritants, and it became clear I needed to take a break.
So what makes this break different?
My creative process is, admittedly, chaotic and I have trouble sticking to routine, but I was determined to stick to my content schedule. Unfortunately for me, I created that content schedule either when I was on summer vacation or when I was working from home during quarantine, meaning I had a lot more free time and energy. With this break, I've put my content on pause (mostly) and have been considering what, if anything, I want to change.
By coincidence, a lot of my content had accidentally been crammed into the span of a week(-ish): quarterly newsletter on the 15th, blog posts on alternate Thursdays, Make Me Write! on Thursdays, Make Me Read! on the third Saturday of the month, exclusive content on the 20th. You see how that piles up?
To give myself a bit more breathing room, here are some tentative changes I will implement on a trial basis:
Make Me Write! and my blog posts will be on alternating Thursdays
Make Me Read! will be on the second Saturday of the month
Exclusive content will be on the 25th
Who knows if this will alleviate any of my stress, but I want to try.
As for the podcast, it's been a struggle. Due to technology issues, recording has been a pain, editing is always difficult, and now my backlog is filling up.
I've decided I will focus on the episode planned for July, then work my way through the rest of the episodes. If I happen to finish one in time for a (late) June release, I will post it, but it's my birthday month and I don't want to feel like death.
So that's the plan! My burnout recovery break is still in-progress, but it feels nice to have a little direction for when I resume the grind.
If you're struggling against burnout, the best advice I have for you is to step away. Burnout is not conducive to creativity, so take that break and give yourself time to recharge. You'll be grateful you did.