Posted in Writer's life

Are you a workaholic writer?

The end of the year fatigue is real… especially for workaholic writers.

10 signs you are a workaholic writer:

  1. You usually spend more than 80% of your free time on your writing work.
  2. You sacrifice something (meetings with friends, binge watching TV shows) in order to do writing work.
  3. You do writing work on weekends.
  4. You do writing work even if you are burn out.
  5. The four above have been going on for months.
  6. You tell everyone you will take a break, but you do the writing work anyways (silently).
  7. You tell everyone you will take a break, and everyone is either surprised or says “you really deserve it”.
  8. If you don’t do the writing work, you get anxious.
  9. Sometimes, you are not quite sure why you always racing forwards like this, but you can’t stop.
  10. Joy from reaching goals is only temporary, as a new, greater goal is waiting behind the corner.

Does any of them sound like you?

If yes, then you are probably a workaholic writer. Watch out for creative burnout – it might happen to you in no time.

There are several reasons why writers become workaholics. I’ve listed some of them:

  1. Pressure to show everyone who didn’t believe in you, that you can.
  2. A belief that once you become famous/successful/rich, people will love you.
  3. A need to escape the real world, which isn’t anything special at the moment.
  4. Pressure to become a full time author as soon as possible, so that you can quit your job.
  5. A desire to finally finish writing your newest book, so as to publish it before the end of the year.
  6. A wish to do better with marketing this, than the last time, and actually sell some books.

I think that workaholism is tightly connected to meaning in life.

Workaholics put the work on pedestal, because work is what has most meaning in their lives.

This might be the result of a stern upbringing and having to “earn” love.

But it may also be the result of a disappointing life situation. We’ve all been let down by our lovers, friends and family members. Money comes and goes,  but work is a constant. There is always something to do: extra homework, dishes to wash, e-mails to answer. And new chapters to write. The Law Of Attraction, about which I write more in detail here, states that the more we focus on something, the more of it we will attract.

The internet is full of stupid and worthless articles on how workaholics can help themselves. Examples include “get out”, “play”, “exercise”. When you really have a problem with workaholism, and somebody tells you to play, you will just shrug your shoulders. You won’t go out to play WHEN THERE IS SO MUCH WORK TO DO, will you?

I’ve already written somewhere that we should all try to work smarter, rather than harder. But working smarter isn’t always that easy, especially when there is a lot of quack advice on the internet. For example, there are thousands of people who claim that they earned a fortune on the internet by affiliate marketing, or answering surveys. I’ve tried it, and, it isn’t as easy as it turns out. Most surveys are already solved when you open the e-mail link with them. And to even qualify for affiliate marketing (not to mention any sales!) you need a strong website with real traffic in the niche. It can be done, but definitely not quickly, and effort must be put into that.

Working smarter often includes spending money on services rather than doing everything yourself.

Learning to delegate is something that requires trust. Workaholics are people who often worry that others won’t be able to do the work as well as them. But, they need to understand that others also have valuable skills and deserve to be given a chance. This is one of the challenges that workaholics must overcome.

Another challenge is setting boundaries that work for you.

In general, I don’t think that writing a lot is a bad thing. If you enjoy it, if it makes you feel good, well – it’s not like you can get physically sick from it (like from drinking too much coffee or smoking too much).

Consider this: most people are able to swim vigorously for an hour. But for olympic swimmers, an hour is just a warm-up: they spend around 4 hours in the swimming pool each day.

Maybe you are an olympic writer, and spending so much time on doing writing work feels right to you. The important thing though, is for you to learn to recognize your limits and push them slowly.

If you feel you are doing too much, slow down. If you are a person who likes spending their time actively, choose something that you haven’t done for a while. Alternating between tasks will help you take a rest from one, and do the other with pleasure. I wrote about this here: A lesson from agriculture: why writing multiple things at once is a good idea.

I hope this helps. Stay inspired!

Author:

Hi! I am an author. I've published my debut novel in 2015 in Poland ("Dokąd teraz popłynę?"). My main genre is fantasy and magical realism. I often discuss socially difficult topics in my works and try to pass on a message of hope. I am always inspired and I never stop writing. My writing inspirations are Bruno Schulz, Pablo Neruda, Kiran Desai and Haruki Murakami. In my private life I am a polyglot. I believe in the Law Of Attraction and I write about it on UltimateManifester at Wordpress.

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