how to avoid the dreaded writing burnout


By almost I mean there are 13 days left, but that's simply not enough!

Some of us are in a deep panic, scrambling to find words. But others are relaxing with their wordcount far above 50k and their first draft/rewrite completed. (i envy you)

I successfully did my very first 5k last weekend and I'm attempting another one today :D (maybe even higher, I'm at 33k and I want to see if I can hit 40k :0) But one huge thing that I suffered with was burnout, in which I couldn't bring myself to write more than 2k because my mind would turn to LITERAL MUSH. 

SO this past week I've come up with a few tips for myself to avoid getting tired while writing, and they've worked for the most part! I SHALL SHARE WITH YOU SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO SUFFER EITHER.

if i had a nickel for every time i used bath and body works products or lights in my photos..

do short sprints


Break up your writing time into short sprints, whether it's time sprints like 5-30 minutes (you could do more than that, my attention span is short so I'd die if i tried an hour sprint) or you could do word sprints like 100-500 or whatever you wish!

THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER, sprints are your oyster!

After a longer sprint, take a quick break and stretch or get a healthy snack. Emphasis on HEALTHY. Filling yourself with sugar and too many fats can make you not want to do ANYTHING, and that includes writing.

Also try not to stare at your word count while sprinting. Keep your eyes on your words and just type type or write write until the sprint is over.

You could also use the Pomodoro Method which is something I discovered on Tumblr for studying! You work for 25 minutes then take a break for 5 minutes, and get back to work :D It works super well and keeps you productive. BASICALLY work your butt off for 25 minutes, which is really not a lot of time once you get working. 

Here's the Chrome extension for the Pomodoro timer if you'd like to use it.

use some resources

The NaNoWrimo forums have so many different resources that you can use to keep the writing train going! I am a huge fan of word crawls, I'm sure everyone has heard of them but just in case: they're like compliations of challenges that usually have a theme. I'm chugging through the Harry Potter ones, which are tons and tons of fun and help me get a lot of words done. There are ones specific for certain word counts, or ones just for fun.

If you're feeling particularly unmotivated, there's even a crawl for that! It helps you get around 3k, and it really doesn't even feel like 3k.

make your space nice

The worst thing you can do for yourself is write in a place where you're not comfortable. Prepare your space in a way that makes you ready to write.

Try to avoid writing in bed! I KNOW I KNOW YOUR BED IS SUPER NICE. AND YOU ARE COMFORTABLE IN YOUR BED. but. You will fall asleep or get tired and just want to turn on Netflix and chill. BUT YOU CAN'T CHILL YOU'RE DOING NANO.

I like to sit on my desk (at night, I'm a night writer lol) or at my dining table, throw a blanket over me, light a candle, grab some pomegranate seeds (I <3 pomegranate seeds they are the bessstttt writing snack) and churn out some words like butter (bad analogy? i think yes.)

If there's a particular scent that motivates you, FLOOD YOUR SENSES WITH IT. ok don't actually make your whole room smell like peppermint because it WILL get obnoxious.

I personally prefer writing at night, but if you do write in the day, use natural light! (if you can) It makes you feel more awake and ready to go.

In conclusion, don't sit in a square white room with no windows because it'll feel like writing jail. You gotta want to write.

motivate yourself 

This is going to sound so strange but I give myself mini pep talks sometimes.. DON'T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT. it helps. okay. 

If you feel like absolute death while writing, and you're hanging onto a cliff by your fingertips screaming I CAN'T GO ON, then take a super duper quick break and pull out a journal or another document. Remind yourself why you're doing NaNo/this current project and why you like writing in general. Why do you want to be a writer? Why the heck are you taking time out of your binge-watching sesh to write this stupid book anyway?


This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and put one word after another until it's done. It's that easy, and that hard. - Neil Gaiman

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit at a typewriter and bleed. - Hemingway

I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters I am not. I write to explore all the things I am afraid of. - Joss Whedon

Another thing I've been doing is thinking back to the day I hit 5k. I thought about how I felt when I entered my daily wordcount into the NaNo site and it said "Words Written Today: 5,000". Basically I felt like I had just defeated Voldemort, Sauron, Darth Vader, the Demogorgon, and the Huns in one blow. I felt inviscible. I call on that emotion regularly to prove to myself that I can do it. 

And then I go kick my novel in the butt.

don't read your writing. please. 

Everyone and their mother has told you this tip but you need to hear it again. If you are on your first draft, don't ever go back and read what you've written.

There will be tears and screams of horror, you will despise it, because it's probably bad. You'll think that what you're about to write is bad, and it might be. So it'll make you want to never write again and curl up in a ball and make a cup of tea and sob for eternity.

basically me to me when reading my writing


I constantly have the desire to go back and write more of a scene but that involves reading the scene again which is a big no no. FIGHT YOUR STUPID WRITING DESIRES. 

always refer back to your outline - if you have one

If you are a pantser IGNORE THIS.

When I have burnout, I always tend to stray away from my outline and write a random scene that has nothing to do with my novel just to get the words in. Heck, I forget the outline even existed.

But when you're feeling tired, pull out that trusty outline and get your novel back on track, it can even motivate you to write the next scene. You were excited to write that outline, and you want to pour your heart into every scene, SO DO IT.

Even if the next part of your novel isn't so interesting, make it interesting! Use some vivid language to develop the scene, or just have fun! Chances are, if you think it's boring, everyone else is going to think it's boring. MAKE IT FUN. 

and remember...

Take some deep breaths. If you can't reach your word count for the day, it's okay! Life goes on. The Earth will not implode in your face, I promise. The most important thing is that you don't push yourself too hard. 

If you have other, more important priorities, take care of those first. Your novel will always be sitting here waiting for you when you need it. (just remember to save ;)) 



Do you have any tips for dun dun dun WRITING BURNOUT? What's your favorite writing snack? And how is your writing going? Have you experienced burnout yet?

peace out y'all,


  1. that Joss Whedon quote is one of my favorites <3 also I love all of these ideas thank you. this motivated me to write actually. Im going to go do it now. Ive hit my word count for today but I want to try and push some more words out. so wish me luck. lol.

  2. Woww, NaNo's only got 13 days left? Feels like I just started seeing all the "I'm doing NaNo!!" posts lol. Wow.

    Congrats on your 5k! :D Burnouts are the suck, but these are good methods for sure. Sprints are useful -- I can focus for a while, but once I hit that point, absolutely no progress will be made until a break is taken lol.

    It doesn't do much for me, but Write or Die is another online sprint sort of thing that a lot of people love to use! (Looks like they're on their 3rd incarnation -- it's a bit busy :p lots of great options though!)

  3. Though I'm a bit late I believe these tips are still useful for after NaNoWriMo.I do read my work, though, just to see if there's any bit of the plot that needs to be attended to xD


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