Four and a half months ago, something happened to me that I had never experienced before. I thought it was just writer’s block at the time, but I gradually came to realize and accept that it wasn’t writer’s block and that I needed to take a break from writing and reading for a while. What I had actually experienced in March was a writer’s burnout. Writer’s burnout happens to writers when they grow tired of writing, because they’ve pushed themselves too hard to reach an certain goal before an certain time. I was tired of writing because at the time that my sister died unexpectedly last year from heart failure, I wanted to fall apart mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually, but couldn’t, because I was finishing up the last few classes of my masters degree and writing a masters thesis. I also planned her funeral, repast, burial, and clothing attire. I didn’t feel like writing anymore or doing anything else after she died, but because I was so close to graduating, I pushed myself harder than I should’ve towards graduation after her funeral and suffered a burnout because of it after I submitted my last assignment. I tried to keep writing after my gradaution requirements were fulfilled, but something didn’t feel right. Something was missing. My sister’s love, encouragement, and praise was missing because she was gone. Today, I’m growing stronger every day and starting to believe in my writing abilities again more and more each day. I’m slowly returning to myself again too. I’ve started reading for fun again sometimes and am starting to get excited about writing again, but I’m not quite ready to begin working on my next projects as a writer again yet. My sister’s death, my writing burnout, and watching Beyonce’s Homecoming documentary taught me that it’s okay to not always want to do the thing you’re most good at doing. Sometimes, you’ll tire of doing that thing and need a break from it, and that’s okay. I’m still a natural born writer. Right now, I’m just a wounded writer who needs to properly grieve her sister’s death, accept it, and find closure from it. I wouldn’t have chosen to have a writer’s burnout or to take a break from writing for a while, but God knew I needed a break, so He made me take one. My writing mojo will return in time, but until it does, I won’t rush it to return or try to hurry the grieving process along as I’ve done in the past. They’ll both pass in time without me interrupting them. For now, I’m okay with that.
Have you ever experienced a writer’s block or burnout before as a writer? What did you do to quell it? Feel free to comment below.