Alex Callahan

Perfect mix of magic and mayhem

Category: Writing Process (Page 1 of 4)

Struggling with Writing Burnout

Writing burnout, burnout, in general, is something every writer (or creator) fears. My entire creative career has been a constant struggle to find the balance between being productive, creating new things, and burning out because I’m taking on too much and the stress is killing any motivation I might have.

And it really is a struggle for me. I can have a really good 6 months of writing and creating, only to not write a single word for the rest of the year (last year was an example of that, and years before weren’t exactly burnout free).

This year, as I am trying to adjust my writing ambitions to the new reality of having a full-time job that brings me satisfaction, and trying to come up with a new plan of pursuing what’s always been my dream, I’m once again faced with the reality that if I attempt to do too much, too fast, I might fail.

And failure is not an option.

I can’t even tell you why, but there’s this certainty in me, whispering in my mind, telling me there’s only so many times I can go back to the start, make another attempt, come at it from a different angle. Yes, each time I started from scratch, I learned from my mistakes, I figured out the limitations and realized that while working under pressure and setting up rigorous plans can get me where I want, it’s not a pace I can keep in the long run.

Because if I try, no matter how exciting I am, I will burn out and be right back where I started.

So this time, I’m hoping that slow and steady will win this race and that small steps will get me where I want to be. So the word for the year is


Wish me luck!

One Million Words: Halfway Through!

I wrote before about missing old school organization of my time, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’ve been using a bullet journal since April 2016 (see here for an explanation what a bullet journal is).

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And while I’ll definitely write more about my bullet journaling adventure later on, right now, the only reason I’m bringing this up is that I recently realized I’ve passed a rather big milestone in my writing career.

They say you need 10,000 hours to become an expert in something, so I’ve been writing down my word count and how much time I’ve spent writing fiction since I started this crazy adventure.

After doing the math, it turns out that I’m halfway through my goal of writing 1,000,000 words of fiction!

Check out my numbers below:

Year words hours
2012 141552 150
2013 120000 130
2014 50000 70
2015 115222 114
2016 44563 50
2017 44948 73
Total word count: 516285
Total hours: 587

How amazing is that?

And yes, it took me 6 years to get there, but looking at these number is incredibly motivating. If I spend 1,5h writing every day, I could reach one million words this year. In the last two years, I only wrote something in the first half of the year (in 2017 it was due to the fact that I got a brand new job in June and needed a lot of time and mental readjustment). One of my goals this year is to write every day. I want to see how that will influence my yearly word count.

This overview also gave me one additional goal. It seems I will need to write 9,000,000 words (given my wph speed) to reach my 10,000 hours, and as an extension, mastery of my craft.

Wish me luck!

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