There’s a fear that is tagging along behind my quest to increase my daily creative output, including word count. Unlike my normal fear of failure, this one is tricky, because it doesn’t seem as obvious. It is tricky because it often catches me because I am too elated or excited to understand that it is coming up on me. Burnout. And it has happened a lot with me and my writing.
It’s always born out of a good place. Sure, it’s driven by ambition. Ambition can more often be good, as long as the goals are worthwhile. For me, write more and be more creative. The want is good. It’s a part of my goals. So why not fire away as soon as the opportunity strikes?
My recent endeavors to clean up my life and to downsize in distractions (digitally and materialistically) has opened up opportunity to blaze ahead with doing more. And with it there are actually a whole host of opportunities to screw it all up as I become almost greedy with that ambition of trying to do more things. Deep down I know that I shouldn’t try until I build up a stronger foundation. Oh it is so hard to fight though. I have to resist, or I can easily slide off the road ruining all of it.
Think of it this way: You are driving on a road in the snow. You are behind a number of other drivers that are all keeping you from going at a faster pace. These other drivers are those things that normally keep you from doing more, like distractions. You find that the other lane is clear, that you can pass these other drivers. In fact, you believe you are ready to pass them all. For the sake of this example, we are going to say that stopping is not a concern, just gaining traction is. If you swing into the other lane and slam onto the gas, you could end up in a ditch, crashing into the thing you are trying to pass, or spinning out. Or if you ease over, but then press down on the gas, not slamming, but not gently, you might start out OK, but you can quickly fall into the same situation as above. Now, if you ease over, then ease into the accelerator, just getting it up a little bit at a time ensuring that you are good as you go faster and being able to taper off easily if it gets a little too fast without losing control, then you would be set.
I am at the point where I am ready to move into the other lane. I REALLY want to swing over and slam my foot into the gas. But I KNOW that it wouldn’t be a good idea. I need to take me time. I need to ease into it or I could burnout/spinout. I have to ease into the higher word counts, the additional projects, the drawing, the additional marketing. All of it.
I have to remind myself that it isn’t that unlike going to the gym or working out. I can’t just jump in there and think that I can run a marathon, or life 300+ lbs in a deadlift. I have to start small. I have to work on form. I have to build up to it. Just like with my writing. I need to build better writing form before making the big leaps. As long as I can keep myself under control, maybe I can keep this damned burnout at bay.