Facing a creative burnout?

Creators face burnouts. For writers, burnouts are a different kind of writer’s block — but both are nasty. I would know. After a few months of continuous writing, it looked like I couldn’t move beyond a few words. Blank pages became common. It was discouraging and incredibly frustrating. It was a burnout.

And you know what I discovered? Readers noticed. Perhaps unknowingly. That month of burnout affected whatever little I had managed to write. The feedback somewhere reflected that burnout.

My mind and body were screaming for a long break. And frankly, I wanted to do that. The clouds didn’t part as a sign. Neither did inspired words come easily. Eventually, I moved passed that stagnation. What did I do to move past that? I wrote my way out of the burnout – giving myself a few minutes of rest.

Here’s the amazing part though — readers noticed the change too. The response pretty much doubled after that.

So what did writing burnouts really teach me?

1. Your state of mind affects whatever you’re creating. Your work may reveal your mood, in spite of careful concealment.

2. Allow people, in this case, readers to be part of your journey and struggle. There’s no foolproof way of hiding it, anyway.

3. It’s all about continuing. Even in the big picture of life — just keep at it, no matter how many curve balls are thrown at you.

4. It allowed me to plan a comeback.

I figured out that pushing ahead worked instead of giving into the burnout.  Sometimes, you just need to keep on fighting. Just keep on creating.

“Oh to everyone who’s hit their limit
It’s not over yet! It’s not over yet!
And even when you think you’re finished, 
It’s not over yet! It’s not over yet!
Keep on fighting.”

~ for King & Country, It’s Not Over Yet – Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong. 

 

When pigs fly

I find this statement utterly funny. And yet, extremely challenging.

The image of a pig flying evokes that of a certain, uncertainty. It’s quite hard to imagine a pig flying…at all.

Yet, in 1903 humans managed to fly. Somehow. And naturally, like pigs, human couldn’t fly.

They worked around it though. They worked with what they had. Intelligence, grit and perseverance. 

That has kind of birthed an expectancy within me. Impossibilities are just possibilities waiting to happen.

Possibilities

That why, impossibilities should excite us. It should challenge us. It should move us to press on. The same goes for boundaries. Now think of the way development takes place. It always starts with a seeming impossibility. But a challenge to that impossibility takes us to a step higher.

The future is bright with possibility. The real question is if you will rise to that challenge of turning an impossibility into a possibility.

And maybe…just maybe…pigs will fly too. Who knows?

How dreams die

I went to a Catholic school, and our school calender had a song that included an inspiring line. Every now and then, it keeps coming back to me as a reminder. What did it say?

Others, Lord, others…Let this, my motto be.

I’ve tried to live by this prayer. And it’s not been easy.

When we dream and pursue, it’s normal to get caught up. Yes, so much so that we forget that missions, goals and dreams are empty without people in it.

So, how do dreams die? When we forget the people factor.

No matter what you’re looking to achieve, people will have to be at the center of that dream. They will be the consumers to whatever you’re hoping to produce. They’ll be your motivators and your critics.

The wisest thing you can do, at every stage of your dream, is to not forget the driving force of your dream – people.

People, dreamer, people…Let that, your motto be.

 

Writing Process Blog Tour – Station Eight

Namaste everyone!

We’re at the eighth stop for the Writing Process Blog Tour. I’m so pumped to be hosting everyone for this chapter of the tour. In case you didn’t know, you’re in India now.

First off, I want to thank my blogger pal, Juni Desiree, over at the blog Out of the Well who tagged me to be part of this. You should definitely check her blog out, particularly her post on the book she’s working on. I’m certain you’ll love her unique perspective on life as much as I do.

Now, the juicy part – the writing process questions.

1. What is your background?

If you’ve visited my about me page, you sort of get a brief idea of my background. I’ve purposely left a lot of things out. As a writer who writes what I write, I want my reader to know me through my posts. The about me page serves an invitation to heighten everyone’s curiosity. No kiddin’.

To begin with – yes, my official name is Vincy Abraham. And it’s pronounced as Vin-see, not Vin-chee (like Leonardo Da Vinci). I’m a Malayalee Indian, that means that I’m from the state of Kerala in South India. But I’ve been born and brought up in the city-that-never-sleeps, Mumbai. I became a born-again Christian at the age of 15, which means that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the Lord and Savior of my life. Since that day of salvation, I’ve had a Constant Companion.

My life changed at the age of 15 – spiritually and academically. It was then that I fell in love with reading, writing and studying. It turned out that I was pretty good at each of them. At 18, I figured out that I had a connection with Political Science – I ended up getting a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in it. Go figure. I’ve worked at two of Mumbai’s top educational and research institutions and the United Nations as well. Currently, I’m hustling to fulfill a dream. Lost? One of my long term dreams is to serve as a Foreign Services Officer aka Diplomat with the Government of India; the other being, to publish a book. Yep, sound the “nerd alert”! For the time being though, I’m looking forward to join work at a foreign government’s diplomatic mission here in Mumbai.

2. What are you working on? (or what have you just finished?)

I’m a whimsical writer. In other words, I’d usually go on long stretches without writing. That was the primary reason why I started blogging – to make writing a part of my daily routine and to overcome a writer’s block. So, what you see here at VQ is what I’m putting my heart into at this moment. In India, the writing scene is a lot different. Contests are few and far between. Opportunities to contribute are scarce. Blogging, in this regard, has served both as an outlet and a means to built a public writing portfolio. I cannot tell you how many writing opportunities this space has brought my way.

The good part is I plan to write something soon. And when I do start, I hope to show you a part of it here at the blog.

Before I move onto the next question, I have a surprise for you. One of my short stories has surfaced on the internet and it’s free to access. You can read it >here<. Have I mentioned that it’s FREE? I’m not going to ruin the surprise for you but it’s inspired by a scene in a very famous book. Guessed it? If so, leave a comment below and tell me what you think of it.

3. How does your work differ from others in its genre?

I do believe that my work is different from others in its genre. I’m biased about my work that way. LOL. Seriously though, and I keep going back to this point, I still haven’t found a blog in India that deals with “How to Survive this Mad Mad World as a Hopeless Dreamer 101″. Perhaps, this is what makes my work different, my voice different, my approach different. Or at least I think so.

So readers, I want to throw open this question to you. Why do you read my blog? There are so many many wonderful blogs out there, what makes you want to visit and read mine?

4. Why do you write what you write?

Everyone has a story. Everyone has a perspective. That’s why I write in the first place – to highlight a perspective. I’m not saying that I’ve got it all figured out or that I’ve got it right. I see writing as a means to get everyone thinking in the process, including the reader and the writer. As a creative being, this is how I express myself.

It takes guts to speak up and share what’s on your heart, to be honest. But I write because this is how I contribute to the world. That is my responsibility. I write because someone needs to read it. I write because that someone may be on the verge of giving up. I also write because I don’t want to regret not sharing my gift with the world. Development happens that way. It requires gutsy people, you know, those difference-makers, at the helm. Those dreamers. Those fulfill-ers. I also write because someone else hasn’t.  That’s why I say that this is my responsibility.

Now, you may or may not have noticed this but there is a pattern to what I write here at VQ. I write about the everyday. That’s genius, right? I think everyday practical living and life skills are something that resonates with many people, including myself. I like writing about things people can relate to – those struggles, those heart-wrenching moments, those insecurities, those doubts, those fears, those successes, those joys, those ordinary moments, those dreams and everything in between.

5. How does your writing process work?

Since starting the blog, I’ve become more on the look out for potential stories. So, that’s where my writing process really starts. Once I get a potential story, I come up with a working title. This may sound a bit funny but I’m finicky about titles – be it critical essays, stories or blog posts. I like to start with a punch.

Once I’ve got a satisfactory title, I move onto the body of the work. The title serves as a reminder of the goal of the essay/post/story. It’s pretty similar to how research or thesis writing works. While working on the body of the work, I write as much as I can and then edit it. Juggling a writer’s mindset and the internal editor at the same time can be very exasperating, so I write and then edit. Usually, for posts I like keeping it short. I read and reread, and edit and then re-edit my work, till I’m satisfied, and only then does it leaves my desk or gets published here on the blog. I like to be thorough that way. You know, minimize any potential errors in the process.

Now to the aspirant writer out there, writing is tough stuff. It requires patience. It requires time. The way I approach writing may or may not work out for you. It wouldn’t hurt to try though. Just find what works best for you, and improvise where needed.

∞∞∞

Now, I want to introduce you to my other blogger pal, Jennifer Marion, who runs a blog with a unique title, How’s Your Love Life (how awesome is that?!) and unique posts. She’ll be hosting us at the next stop of the blog tour and I’m excited to read what she comes up with.

Well everyone, shukriya (thank you in Hindi) for joining me for the eight Writing Process Blog Tour! I hope the answers were insightful and that you’ve gotten something out the interview.

Stick around at VQ and be sure to read the latest blog posts. And don’t forget to leave a comment for this blog tour post. I really WANT to hear from you!!