Writer’s Block or Burn-Out?

Amsterdam blue - back-to-back
Amsterdam blue – back-to-back (Photo credit: CharlesFred)

You stare at a blank screen. It happens to us all. But when should you power through and when should you take a break? Use the excuse of writer’s block and you risk slowing or halting your progress. Force yourself to write through burn-out and you prolong the pain. When you can’t write, how can you tell the difference?

People with writer’s block want to write but can’t. You become frustrated with yourself, doubt yourself, doubt your work. Regardless of how you define and explain writer’s block, it can be gotten around with patience and understanding.

People with burn-out have a different set of symptoms. You have no interest in writing. It might even make your head hurt and it only gets worse the harder you try. Burn-out plays havoc with your emotions. You become moody — even when not writing. When someone asks about your writing you get irritable, angry, or defensive (reactions directed at other people rather than yourself or your work). The only way to get past burn-out is to rest and recharge.

Recognize the difference between writer’s block and burn-out. Know when to keep trying and when to call it quits. Your WIP, your emotions, and your relationships will thank you.

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