Whether writing daily reads to burnout seems to depend on both the individual and the reasons that they have chosen to write. I haven’t suffered burnout yet, but I’m aware of it and plan to guard against it.
What is burnout?
WebMD defines burnout as:
Burnout is a form of exhaustion caused by constantly feeling swamped. It’s a result of excessive and prolonged emotional, physical, and mental stress. In many cases, burnout is related to one’s job.
Burnout happens when you’re overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to keep up with life’s incessant demands.
I have heard some writers on here say they have suffered from burnout and also hear it often from entrepreneurs that are working on startups.
Burnout is indeed a real thing, and we should do our best to guard against it. Prevention is better than cure.
Prevention is better than cure.
Many claim that writing here is best done daily if you want to gain traction and earn a decent income. Some say that they don’t want to do that as it will lead to burnout. If it would lead to burnout for those individuals they are certainly right to be concerned about it.
But is it inevitable? I don’t think it is.
If I look back at my career in IT, I worked 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, for around 20 years. I didn’t suffer from burnout at all. I don’t even remember anyone I worked with mentioning it. I loved my job and had a great bunch of colleagues, so maybe that helped.
We worked pretty closely as a team, so there was always someone to help you out with any problems. We’d also take over a part of each other’s work if it was getting too much.
With writing, we’re usually on our own and often at home. We don’t have anyone to turn to if the going gets tough. That’s when burnout could occur.
I think it’s true that the vast majority that writes here only write part-time. Writing is a kind of side hustle. Maybe just for the joy of writing or to earn an extra income.
The current economic crisis has probably led to more people wanting to write for money. That has probably added extra pressure to their lives. This is when burnout is most likely to occur.
Maybe you already have a full-time job and family to take care of. I can see how forcing yourself to write every day because you need the money can lead to burnout.
But what about those that write for pleasure? I don’t see any reason that they should suffer from burnout because they are doing what they enjoy. If they stop enjoying it, they can take a break.
For those that write solely for money and are also pushed for time, it would be wise for them to pace themselves properly. Maybe the solution is to write 3 or 5 times a week instead of every day.
Something no one should do is feel like they have to write every day just because someone else tells them to do so.
Those that earn the most here seem to write and/or publish daily or almost daily. I don’t see any of them discussing burnout. They seem to have a good routine that suits them well.
As these are the people I model myself on, I also write almost every day. But I never push myself to write just for the sake of writing. I sometimes set targets, but even then I find those challenges to be fun. I don’t find them stressful. If I need a break I take one.
I gave up coffee 5 days ago and had such bad withdrawal symptoms that I had to stop writing for a couple of days. I didn’t even try to push myself to write just to keep up with my daily writing. It’s important to take breaks at times like that.
I no longer have a day job, so writing daily is fairly easy for me. I usually write for an hour or two a day. Given that I used to work 8 hours a day, I don’t see how an hour or two could lead to any problems. Unless I stopped enjoying my writing. If that happens I will certainly be taking a break.
My health is my top priority. It’s way above money. So pushing myself to write so that I can make more money just isn’t going to happen if it affects my health negatively.
Whether writing daily will lead to burnout is something that only you judge. We are all different and living in unique situations. There’s no simple answer that fits everyone.
My advice is to be on your guard for burnout in all areas of your life, not just writing. If you think writing daily will lead to burnout, don’t do it.
Health > Family > Money
Don’t get those back-to-front.