It's summer, which means everyone is either working 40 hours a week or stuck taking summer classes. Unfortunately, I am in the boat of doing both, which means I don't have a lot of time to write, and when I do finally get to sit down to try and write something, nothing comes to me. So this week I'm writing about the fact that I'm struggling to write and the solution that works for me and how it can work for you as well.
Write. Write. And try and write some more. And then edit.
Hemingway said that you should write drunk and edit sober. When you have writer's block, it can be hard to sit down and write anything, especially after working an eight-hour day and then also having to write three research papers a week. But, if you just discipline yourself to sit down and write something, anything, eventually you will be able to get something onto paper. Just write a page and then leave it. When you come back to it later, you can re-read it and think, "What the heck was I trying to say?" and re-write or edit it.
Burnout is also a dangerous enemy of a writer because while it can feel easy to write ten or more pages a day, that can quickly change. I wrote upwards of 10,000 last semester and now it can feel hard to put 15 words on a page. It feels so difficult to move my fingers on the keys to create something that I want other people to read.
When you have to write as your major, it can be hard to avoid burnout because you have to get those articles published in order to get a grade, even when you know what your turning in is not your best work. It can be hard for me sometimes because I love to write creatively, but it is the same as reading textbooks all day every day. As soon as I have my own free time, I want to do nothing to do with writing because I'm so tired of looking at my own words on a screen.
Balance is an important skill to learn when it comes to being a writer because when you want to do it for a living. It can be dangerous to get either writer's block or burnout because that means that all your work is going to suffer until you get yourself out of that slump.
Self-care is important when it comes to life but also writers need to find other things to occupy their mind when they are suffering from writer's block or burnout. Taking lots of walks has helped me recently because I'm able to find some inspiration within nature. Inspiration is something else that is important to consider because drawing inspiration from everyday life can help you write and express yourself.
Writing is important to me and a lot of other people, but it can be hard to find the motivation when you feel uninspired. Just remember to take care of yourself and don't beat yourself up. This happens to every writer at some point in time.