Yeesh, it’s been a long time since I’ve gotten to write out a blog post like this. Over a month, in fact. There’s something freeing about this type of post, where I can just sit down and let whatever I’m feeling pour out. I don’t need to worry about you guys not gathering everything I’m saying because there isn’t really anything for you to gather. I guess what I mean is that I’m not teaching, I’m just talking. It’s hella relaxing, I’ll tell you what.
So what do I mean when I say I’m burning myself out with my writing? Well, lately I’ve been feeling like the YA contemporary stories I’ve been writing for my workshops at college are better than my novel The Caspian Chronicles: The Forbidden Prophecy, which is the novel I’m working on self-publishing. It isn’t that The Forbidden Prophecy is bad, it’s just that it feels like the other stories are better. So I decided to so a little soul searching to figure out why I feel that way. At first, I thought it was because I’m growing as an author, and the stories I write for my workshops are “better” because of my personal growth. But the more I really thought about that, the more I realized that wasn’t actually the case. I mean, I am growing as an author, and it’s great. But my growth should bleed over into The Forbidden Prophecy, right? So then what’s the real problem?
The answer I finally came to is that I’m simply burning myself out. For the past three and a half years I’ve solely focused on The Caspian Chronicles. I’ve ate, slept, and breathed that series, and while I’ve written other things for my workshops, outside of class I only ever work on this one series. So, really, I’m not actually allowing myself to grow. In fact, I may have been stunting my own growth as an author. Because, sure, you’ll grow a little with each rewrite of a book, but the only way you’ll really grow is if you work on other projects, too. I need to start expanding my horizions, I think.
Of course, I’m going to finish out NaNoWriMo by working on book two of The Caspian Chronicles, but after that I think I’m going to put the entire series aside while my betas give me feedback on The Forbidden Prophecy, and explore some of my other stories that I have ideas for. Maybe a break from this series is exactly what I’ll need to get a fresh perspective and dive back in with a better understanding of how I can make this series the best it can be.
So, have any of you guys ever burned yourself out by working on one project for too long? How did you overcome that? Let me know, because any other advice I could get would be fantastic. And if you’re struggling with the same thing right now, don’t get discouraged. I have a feeling that, for both of us, stepping back will do a world of good.