Sometimes writers and others in the publishing industries, from illustrators to designers and editors, can get overwhelmed or bogged down with work. And while for most of us, writing (and reading) is our passion and a pastime we thoroughly enjoy, there can be times where it begins to feel more arduous than freeing. And the trick is, what do you do when something you once enjoyed doesn't seem as fun anymore? Well, you can look for other hobbies or discover something new about your current one.
I will use myself as an example. I love reading. I always have and always will. But as an editor, I sometimes feel drained from all the reading that I do for work and it makes it harder for me to sit and read for fun, even if the book is something that I know I would otherwise enjoy. In this case, I have three options. One option would be to not read at all and do something else, another option would be to power through even though it doesn't suit my mood, a final option would be to read but to read differently. I highly suggest doing either the first or third option, the second won't bring you joy or peace.
If you choose not to read, there are tons of things you can do. For example,
Go for a walk
Watch a movie
Bake something delicious
Play a game
Learn a new hobby
Reading & Writing
Choosing to read differently is another great option.
By reading differently, I don't mean reading the ending first or starting a book from the middle. I mean reading different forms. If you typically read paperback, maybe listen to an audiobook. If you are into long narrative prose, pick up a graphic novel. Maybe now is the time to familiarize yourself with manga or manwha or manhua. Who knows? But doing things a bit differently can help reignite that spark for reading that may have dimmed.
The same can be said of writing!
You can always do something else, especially if you feel that burnout is on the horizon, but say you have a deadline and you don't want to stop writing. You can write in new ways.
Here are some ideas to try out:
Write a scene told in a different form. (i.e. letters, news report, email, text, etc.)
Write the backstory of a minor character
Write a scene/chapter as told by a random person watching the events of your story
Basically, playing around with your story can help you look at it in new ways and can put that spark back into your writing.
As I mentioned before there are dozens of other activities that you can seek out as well. I like going on walks when I need some clarity, even if they are only around my neighborhood. I also enjoy crafting, whether it be making bookmarks or stickers or something like that. (If you are curious, you can find pictures here.) On occasion, I'll make a cringey YouTube video or pop in an old favorite movie. (Like From on on Poppy Hill, The Usual Suspects, or some other classic movie that I know I'll enjoy.) I may listen to music or call up a friend, too. If you are artistic, perhaps you can try making something or playing an instrument, dancing or singing. Something to just help you remember to take time to enjoy life and not to be so serious all the time.
What are some of the things that bring you joy?