Happy 4th of July! A couple of weeks ago I implored readers to contribute answers to questions regarding burn-out and I did get some responses. I have Talia Reed’s answers to each question, and also Tara Strahl’s take on burn-out posted at the end:
1. When/how do you know you are starting to feel burnt-out?
I don't want to read any more poetry. I belong to a writers group and borrow a lot of reading material, so I'm lucky that I have access to a lot of stuff, but I have to sort of cleanse the pallate after a while. That's when I switch to a novel or something.
2. How do you navigate around obstacles which crowd out your abilities to focus on poetry in the day-to day?
I'm a busy mom. The 3 year-old is demanding and when I prioritize, at this point in my life, the poetry isn't at the top. When I get really busy I try to find poetry time just once a week. I can do once a week, and if the muse is kind it will lead to more.
3. How do you combat poetic burn-out specifically?
Read something else. Write something I wouldn't normally write, post it to my blog.
4. Finally, how do you know when you’ve conquered burn-out?
I think it's an ongoing thing. Sort of like keeping the love alive in a marriage or something.
Poetry Burn-out: A Combative Approach
Poetry thrives on contradictions, and the writer who can't write anything is the greatest contradiction of all. Therefore, I try to make use of my burned-out moments. I've noticed that the times in which I am unable to get anything done are actually the times from which my best ideas eventually come. Also, the small things I do manage to get done during these times end up having far greater impact than they normally would. So, Zen-like, one way to think about poetry burn-out is that it's like pulling an arrow back before it can shoot forward.
Thank you, ladies, for participating! Also, thanks to all who stop in and hopefully you found some new answers to burn-out. For myself, I finally started delegating more tasks in my everyday life to others who were perfectly capable of doing them. Now I have a little more time to devote to hobbies and feeling less stressed out, and therefore, less burn-out.
Please stop in again on Monday for another featured site!