Burnout is a common phenomenon among writers, artists, salespeople, and even teachers. You can learn from the best and still not be able to perform to their level if you’re constantly burned out from what you’re doing. Passion projects take especially longer when it comes to production and promotion, and content creation becomes vital when the project is completed. Here are some ways to prevent just that:
Creatives, research, promotion, and search engine optimisation are all tasks that must be delegated. All non-core activities that you’re either not good at or don’t have enough time for should be assigned to experts who can do them faster and better than you. Tim Ferris did just that for his first bestseller. There are excellent websites like Freelancer and Behance, as well as WhatsApp groups (I run 3 with over 700+ members) where you can connect with people who can personally recommend those that can help out.
Maya Angelou rented a tiny hotel room to do her writing in peace and eventually became a world-renowned poet and writer who inspired millions through her words. In an interview with Claudia Tate, she explained, “I usually get up at about 5:30, and I’m ready to have coffee by 6, usually with my husband. He goes off to his work around 6:30, and I go off to mine. I keep a hotel room in which I do my work–a tiny, mean room with just a bed, and sometimes, if I can find it, a face basin.”
Josh Waitzkin, author of the world famous Search for Bobby Fisher, was a renowned author even before his career took off as a full-time wordsmith. He is given credit for triggering major cultural shifts in society and hailed as a virtuoso and a genius by multiple publications. Here’s what he had to say about the process of writing: “There is a lot of alchemy in writing. You make a soup, put a lot of stuff in. But if it is a really good soup, what comes out is sometimes surprisingly different than what you put in. This is the coolest thing in writing. I have an idea to write a story about a guy I know. I write three or four notes on a legal pad. I’m raring to go. I begin churning out the words. I look at it again after a few days and I ask myself, “Where did that come from? Very interesting, but where did it come from?” If there is greatness in a book, it is usually the magic part–the revelations there were truly revelations to the author himself.”
Go traditional for some time – carry a pen and pad to the places you visit and start writing. Studies have shown that this activates the working memory part of your brain, creating new neural connections and pathways and thereby creating new ideas. Chalk something down on a piece of paper and throw it away if you have to, because writing down something on paper activates over 20 percent more of our brain than writing on screen.
Studies from UCDavis and MIT have shown that a group that produces a lot of bad ideas also produces more good ideas than those that don’t. This openness to having bad ideas and discussing them internally or externally helps when you experience burnout as a content producer and good ideas flow right after.
Content creation takes time and discipline. But more than that, it requires clarity of mind. A burnout can significantly obscure your flow of ideas, and these practices can help you prevent it from occurring.