What’s called occupational burnout strikes those in what we call the human service professions such as social workers, teachers, police officers, nurses, and professional writers. This comes about because of the high-stress they go through. And for most writers I know, it means that in their scramble to make enough money to survive, they lose their enthusiasm. They become careless, disengaged, and indifferent about their work.
Lack of self-care is one of the strong ingredients for feeling used up and asking yourself why you’re in this crazy profession. In my more than 30 years of full-time writing, I’ve hit burnout twice and I wondered if I’d ever write again. I recognized three significant facts:
1. Too much work;
2. Too few results;
3. Too little self-care.
I was not only emotionally disengaged, but both times I did the only sensible thing I could: I stepped away from my work. The first time I didn’t write anything for two months and about a month the second time. I read for many hours, exercised more, and accomplished tasks I’d been putting off.
Good self-care practices
keep me free from burnout.