• Jabe Stafford

Enemies Of The Writer: Brain Farts & Burnout

Burnout ain’t entirely evil, but it mostly is. Push your badass writer self a yard or two past the limit so you grow and learn to create more with less.

Then rest and recover.

Download a hundred writing podcasts over the course of a year and absorb that learning the way a sponge sucks up bourbon. Create despite the early stages of burnout.

But don’t actually burn out.

Both body and mind need recharge time. Remember those summer vacations in high school when you had three months to sleep and ignore the hell out of the world? Yeah, there’s a reason you came back swinging with tons of energy the following year. Find a way to give a solid dose of THAT kind of rest to your body on a regular basis.

Self-care matters just as much as the act of creation. Recharge the way your body needs, then get back to creating like a lego-wielding future engineer.

Learn to recognize the taste of brain farts and why they bubble up.

That one-second moment when your head sagged at your desk and you smacked the monitor by mistake? Ya fell asleep mid-creation ‘cause your brain’s farting from sheer exhaustion.

Those days when you’re cranking out a thousand words or more and all of a sudden it takes two hours for you to get past a simple naming issue? Cognitive flatulence. That gray lump above your sinuses is saying, “Hey, gimme a break” and you’re not giving it.

When you’re creating and a time-sucking internet game wolfs down your time and attention span? That’s a cerebellum shit. Frontal lobe feces. Craniarrhea.

Tricks for helping yourself NOT burn out include:

The usual cliche things (If they actually work for you). Try one or two.

Then try weeding out a few responsibilities weighing on your brain the way a drive-thru burrito sits on the gut. Can X wait? Does Y need doing today? What gives me more time for rest and creativity?

Try inventing braino, the all natural supplement that prevents brain farts. That’s a good trick, right? Down some braino and keep writing?

Look at what you waste too much time on. Is too much complainin’ goin’ on in your life? What about drama? Toxic people? Weed that junk out too and give yourself some recovery time.

Jump the hell back into some old favorite things that gave you pleasure. Gaming. Origami. Yo-yos. Martial arts. Hacky sack. Anything.

Those things that ACTUALLY recharge you are far more important than say, mindlessly doing chores while humming to your mad self. That ain’t recharging, that’s auto-pilot, and it leads to burnout too.

Burnout is a friggin’ enemy of the writer.

Care for yourself and then get back to writing!

Your story’s gonna be someone else’s recharge talisman.

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