If you began following my writing at the beginning of the year you probably noticed that I disappeared for the last several months. Well, I did this on purpose, for both personal and practical reasons.
The thing is, writing is hard. It’s not hard to come up with useful concepts, or to string sentences together. But, it’s hard to maintain a consistent schedule.
A consistent writing schedule is crucial for success on this platform, and for virtually any writing method.
I know what you’re thinking. This dude just got burnt out.
I’ve been writing, a lot.
But I haven’t been writing here. I returned to school in August and correspondingly finishing a B.A. in Philosophy requires much more discipline than maintaining a writing schedule on this platform. It requires sacrifice and discipline. In fact, there was a point during the semester where I almost quit.
But my college career isn’t what this post is about. In fact, this post isn’t about me at all.
This is about you, and why you need to take a break from Medium.
You’ve felt the burn. It’s that sting behind your eye that makes your vision blur.
We’ve all felt it.
Any writer who turns out page after page, whether read by anyone or not, knows the pain of burnout.
You question your ideas, your grammar and even your words. Sometimes you can’t find the right way to phrase a concept. Next thing you know, all of your writing sucks.
And it sucks bad.
But this is all in your head. There are many writers who crank out thousands of words per day, and they do it consistently, day after day.
How do they do this? They don’t get burnt out, they get turnt’ up.
This is the key to any success. It’s by powering through, sticking to a schedule and making yourself work even when it’s the last thing you want to do. It’s about motivating yourself with your lack of motivation. If that sounds paradoxical, it is.
But, I’m not advocating for you to “power up” and stick it out. In fact, I’m suggesting the opposite.
I’m not suggesting that you take a semester long break like me, not at all. I know my limitations and abilities. A Philosophy Major requires a lot of writing and research. Writing essays for multiple classes takes a lot of time, and (for me) being a single parent who works full-time and has a full-time school schedule, sacrificing Medium was a necessary evil.
But, you’re not me. You can take a break. And you can do it right now.
You can always continue staring at a blank screen, hoping the right words will fall into your head.
Or, you can turn the damn thing off and refresh your senses.
This is absolutely essential for any writer. It truly is.
But how much of a break should you take? This is totally up to you. Trust me, you’ll know exactly when to come back.
Some of you might need a week or two. Others might prefer a weekend off. Still, others might like a good solid month of pursuing other goals, or learning new skills.
It’s the last part that’s the most critical. Here’s why.
If you never take time out to test out new platforms, gain new knowledge about your craft or actually do some reading (hint: if you don’t ever read you shouldn’t be writing) then you’ll never develop new skills, style or swag.
Yes, I said swag.
Swag is your response to life. In the writing world, it’s akin to your level of confidence and competence. And, it’s absolutely essential.
Swag allows your personality to show through in your writing.
It comes with ease for some, but others have to work at developing swag. Let’s put it like this: When you’re tired, overworked and barely able to keep your head above water, your work suffers. Your personal life suffers and the people in your life might actually suffer a bit because they see you struggling.
This isn’t swag.
When you’re well-rested; when you’ve simplified your life to the point where you only put on your plate what you know you can handle, then this frees up your inner dynamic. That’s where swag lives.
And you need it in order to develop and hone your personal style.
So, get some rest!
Get off of this thing and get your ass outside. Make new moves, learn new things and get a feel for what else is out there other than Medium.
Now don’t get me wrong. I love Medium and I love this writing platform. But other ways of monetizing your writing do exist, and each day the options are available.
So give it a rest, and wake up refreshed. Look at life with a fresh perspective, and see how many other baskets you can find to put your eggs in.
Remember, variety is the spice of life.
And all writers need variety.