I’ve been pushing myself really hard since 2016, the year I started publishing and somehow put out four books in seven months.
Each year I told myself I wouldn’t work so hard, but I kept on and sometimes added even more.
And now, almost four years later, my characters won’t talk to me. That’s a big problem because I can’t write without them.
So I think I may be reaching the burnout point. Luckily, I’m not fully there, but I think I’m getting close.
Looking back on my year, it’s not surprising:
Suffrage Movement Book:
- Researched two sample chapters.
- Wrote sample chapters (17,315 words)
- Co-wrote proposal.
- Queried agents with co-author.
- Shelved book.
Virginia and Francis Minor biography:
- Researched 105,557 words of notes.
- Took research trip to University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
- Wrote proposal and sample chapter.
- Queried agents.
- Project on hold.
Historical fiction book:
- 9,041 words of notes (not complete)
- Project on hold due to project below.
- Researched 21,634 words
- Developed detailed 7 page outline, with becomes 40 pages with notes.
- Did this in three weeks.
- Wrote 6,218 words.
- Now the book is refusing to cooperate.
- Wrote a short story for an anthology – 10,000 words
- Researching book chapter: The Ethics of Writing Guinevere for the Modern Age.
- So far at 15,410 words of notes.
- Have four articles and two books to go.
- Wrote three articles for NINC newsletter.
- Reported on 11 sessions from the NINC Conference.
That’s a total of 185,175 words written (not counting the articles and reporting), even if most were notes.
- Attended four conferences, speaking at two.
- Spoke at five other events.
- Conducted a successful USA Today bestseller list campaign.
- Read 86 books (not including research) to date. Will likely hit 100 by end of year.
Oh and I have a full-time job.
But yet I hesitate to let myself have a break.
- I’m not sure I know how. I don’t know how to person without writering.
- I worry someone else will get to this latest book before I do.
- I feel like I always need to be doing something.
- I worry that taking a break will harm my career.
Yet, I know I have to slow down/stop for a while. The only thing I can muster energy and interest in right now is playing Covet Fashion on my Kindle. That is not a good thing because it costs money, rather than making me money. And it takes up time I could be using for writing. But at least it is a creative outlet, I guess. (And I am a damn good stylist!)
I know how I got myself here; now I just have to figure out how to get out of it.