Burnout: how to recognize it, how to define what stage you're at, and what to do about it. I recommend aggressive refilling of the well for all. Also, vacation, Hurricane Hilary, and doing Beach.
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Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I'm here with my first cup of coffee. Ah delicious.
Today is I want to say Monday it feels like Monday to me, but it's not it is the day that you say with me it is Friday woohoo Friday August Twenty fifth and I am all discombobulated. Ah. Taking an actual vacation does that to you. It's um, the good and the bad thing. So anyway, I'm back from vacation I got back late Wednesday night so I theoretically had yesterday to recombobulate. But I am not yet fully combobulated. Ah, for no good reason except that it was a great vacation. It was lovely if you follow me on social media you will have seen that I posted a few things we were at mission beach in San Diego um had this amazing beach house. Right on the boardwalk looking out on the ocean big windows from the living room looking out great patio where we could sit and watch the people go by and watch the water. Um, really well equipped place hosts were really good. We did it through vrbo and. Yeah, it was it was terrific. We had a great time if you're paying attention to timing. Um, the Hurricane Hilary was on started to be on track to head towards Southern California let's see I think it.
It formed the storm formed on the fifteenth and we left on the eighteenth. So by the time we were heading that way. People were already talking about. Hurricane hitting Southern California which is a big deal there because they just really don't get much intense weather. Um, besides you know they get like the fires and the earthquakes but not not big storms like that. Ah so people kept saying things to us like. Are you going to ride out the hurricane and I watched the storm tracking. In fact I stayed offline almost entirely and I should add in there that I was there over my birthday on the twenty second and so I was not online for a lot of the birthday wishes I did try to um, respond yesterday when I was back. But if you wished me a happy birthday and I failed to respond. Um, thank you I I did try to get them all.
Even if it was only hitting like I looked at everybody who's who sent me good wishes and it's so wonderful that there's such a great community out there sending me natal blessings. Ah so. So I did go online to do the hurricane tracker to to watch the storm because people were worried my family was worried my mother was worried um, but by the time it hit really by the time it made landfall by the time. It was in Mexico it had been downgraded to a tropical storm we took in the patio furniture. We talked to the host and he's like ah just be careful. Maybe we'll take it in. You know there was always the chance that the storm could intensify or divert. But um, you know it's funny because. People just don't ah how do I put this nicely people don't always get all the facts before they make opinions I know this is like not startling information to anybody out there at all but it it remains. Ah, topic of interest to me. But I think I froze temporarily there. Um, it remains a topic of interest to me I overheard people talking about. Well.
My internet is being a little croupy here. Let's see. I hesitate to pause because then I'll possibly lose everything. Okay, it looks stronger now. So sorry if that was all bobbly in there if I had high production value and edited. You wouldn't have to have known anything at all. But alas. So anyway, um, oh yeah, people forming opinions without all the facts which I know yeah, not startling still like I heard people saying things about how you know the weather service kept saying that no storm surge was anticipated. In fact. My husband David kept commenting that it was like the same news story over and over again, the forecast never changed and you know and so some people were saying oh well, you know they downgraded the forecast. It's like no actually the only thing that got downgraded were people's expectations.
Or concerns. Ah, but you know like people didn't seem to understand I could overhear people talking about this on the boardwalk. You know, talking about the hurricane and they're like yeah but if a hurricane comes through here. There's gonna be. You know that ocean can just come right up this beach and I wanted to stop and say let me draw you a map of where San Diego is here's the beach you know and and so basically you know like the beach is like this and the storm was coming like this right? So that's not going to drive the waves. In shore ah, but anyway it doesn't sound nearly as good as say tropical storm Hillary. So um, yeah Saturday evening we brought the patio furnitureur and just in case. Ah, the storm looked like it was gonna be tracking in land. It did track inland well east of San Diego I think they got quite a bit more damage inland but um, we have hummingbird wars going on out here.
Yeah, so um I shouldn't let myself get distracted by birds I know. Ah, yeah, so you know Saturday night. Very little happened. It started to rain.
And they don't get a lot of rain in San Diego and it was more rain than they usually get. They'd had a storm apparently at like Christmas time that had been quite intense and that had everybody riled up and concerned so all the businesses along mission beach closed on sunday. They just preemptively closed. In fact, Sunday morning you know it was really nice. It was just like barely raining and so David and I walked down to the Starbucks I'd been walking down to every day just to see and they had closed preemptively. Ah the um, but then the local. Neighborhood coffee shop funky lemon which we went to several times and really enjoyed which turned out was locally owned woman- owned latina owned so that was great. They they opened and I think part of that is because they lived there and but also they were there to sign up saying that their hours might be patchy due to the storm. And that they apologize to the community which I thought was lovely. You know that's um I I argue with friends about the whole corporate coffee coffee thing because I do love starbucks you all who listen regularly know I love my Starbucks and 1 reason is because I traveled so long for the day job that. I I wanted there were things that I became very attached to when I was traveling two weeks out of every month and one of those was having you know like my drink exactly the way I liked it and with Starbucks you get that more or less.
There are a lot of things I like about Starbucks I do like the flavor I like the latte that they make but um, you know that is the thing about the local coffee shop is that they do have that commitment to the community now. Starbucks I imagine that part of the reason they closed is responsibility to their employees. They didn't want to make their employees have to you know travel to that location. You know if there was gonna be a store and possibly get stuck. Yeah, these things are all a balance right? So anyway on um. But on Saturday afternoon David and I went to the local grocery store and we stocked up on all kinds of food snacks booze. We plan to make a big spaghetti dinner on Sunday so we anticipated everything being closed and we um, yeah, just hung out all day Sunday it was just. A really rainy day at the beach. It. It started to get windy at the very late afternoon or evening when the wind switched directions because they but it had been coming from the northwest all along and typically comes from the northwest and when the storm was passing through. Wind switched and came from the south and that budged a few things knocked some fronds off the palm trees. It really was no big deal and we had a with a nice date. You know we hung out and we watched movies and read and watched the ocean and.
Had our big spaghetti dinner and it was lovely. We had a great time. So um, yeah, and then you know the storm moved out. It was a little bit cloudy on Monday but that's. Tuesday my actual birthday was beautiful sunny day and we got lots and lots of beach time. We've got beach time regardless but that was like the classically sunny day at the beach and yeah, it was wonderful on my um in Jeffe's closet my Patreon and Discord we. Been talking about aggressively refilling the wealth. We've been talking a lot about burnout and how to combat combat it how to retain creativity with the challenges of life and. There are a couple of people dealing with very difficult family issues and I started talking about you know that I think and I've talked about it on hears some but I think it bears revisiting I think we all need to revisit it because we I think we were. Guard refilling the well as this passive thing as this you know like like a well works right? You know we sort of have this idea that there's groundwater and it passively seeps into the well and gradually fills it up again. So if you've been.
Taking too much water out of the well all you have to do is wait stop taking water out of the well and the water will seep back in and I think that while it's a useful analogy to some extent. It becomes a real problem with I'm gonna apply to Creativity. And with the fact that we have that it's almost impossible to stop taking water out of the well even if you stop writing you have all these other things that are drawing on your personal energy that it may not be possible to to cut off such as. Taking care of Sick family which a couple of people I know are dealing with or dealing with a stressful situation. So What do you do in that case and and I think what you have to do is you actually have to start to get all sorcerer's apprentice about it right. You know marshal your army of walking mops to carry those buckets to fill up that well and I mean I know I'm really mixing my analogies because in the sorcer's apprentice I believe it was just a cistern that they were carrying water from elsewhere. To fill up the system which then overflowed but you get my point I think it's really important to to find ways to aggressively fill the well now what are those ways. Ah I don't know.
I don't know um to me going offline going on Vacation. Those are semi passive ways of refilling the well active ways for me are reading watching movies taking long walks on the beach. Um, I think we have to seek out those things you know, kind of like we talk about seeking out joy seeking out those things that give us um that that do pour more water into the well.
So it's an ongoing conundrum I would love to hear from people. What things aggressively refill the well for you. What counts is like going out and filling up the bucket and bringing it back and dumping it in there I have 1 writer or friend. Who is struggling with burnout. Um I talked to her a couple weeks ago and she said she she was having a bad morning. She wasn't feeling good but she is like I don't know what is wrong with me. She's been trying to finish 2 things. Um, a novel and a novella. Ah she was hoping to knock both of them out. She's someone who used to be able to write really fast in the past and she said um, she said I can't even make the simplest decision I'm not capable of making the simplest decision and I don't know why and I said you are burned out. I said your will is empty and she's been going through a lot of stress too. Plus she's really been pushing the writing creativity and she's been getting slower and slower and slower and these are signs these are signs of burnout and it's really hard. To recognize burnout. Especially if you are in it. Um, you just you know again, a kind of a tired analogy but the frog in the boiling water. It's stress is like that stress gradually accumulates.
And you don't realize how much stress you're under until it's gone again until you are at the beach and you're like oh I don't have to go look at my laptop although I wasn't feeling that bad I thought that I might. Feel like writing while I was there especially on that very rainy day I thought oh maybe I'll spend it writing or do some writing and I wasn't feeling a burning desire to and and this is one of those things is that it's really difficult to do but you have to learn to calibrate your internal sense of what you need. Um, and and and it's it's hard. It really is but you have to get really good at listening to yourself. You know when are you procrastinating and when are you really listening to what you need, um, 1 thing about me having. Ah, really strong writing habit is that I often feel like the the habit compels me to write and I wasn't feeling that I wasn't feeling that itch to write while I was there and so for me, that's a sign. It's like okay I'm not feeling the edge and i'm. And it made me happy I was really happy to just be able to sit and read my book or you know take walks or go swim in the ocean I love boogie boarding I got to do that. So all of those things feel.
They felt replenishing and they did not feel like um Dale felt like something I needed to do the thing about burnout and I told my friend this too is that and I I often references I was on this really great panel on burnout with um, a group of people who had all. Gone through it all writers and every single person on that panel had only discovered that they were burned out had only come to the realization that they were burned out because somebody else told them I firmly believe that it is nearly impossible to recognize. That you are burned out while you are there because you're too burned out to know it if that makes any sense whereas the other people in your life can look at you and say that they don't look at you and say act I had a bug on me. Ah, you know they look at you and and they say you are burned out. Um, being unable to make a decision is a really good cue. Um, because decisions take energy every single decision you make takes energy and writing is a series of decisions. Ah.
So being unable to make a simple decision. You know like do you want coffee or tea that's a sign that you are out of energy depression is a sign of it. Of course depression is a sign of other things tiredness too but learning to recognize that. When you simply can't push through and that's what I've been encouraging my friend to do I'm like you need to take time off of writing you need to talk to your agent. You need to talk to everybody that you owe stuff to you need to pull out the stops and handle these things and and stop writing for a while because what can happen is. People burn themselves out for years or entirely so on that note and not to end on a downer note. Let's not do that instead think about aggressively refilling that well go out and get buckets of whatever it is that lights you up. And pour it into that will um, don't treat it as something that will just happen on its own if you let up because first of all, it's really difficult to just let up on everything especially life and then second of all, it's not enough. So. On. That note um I am off to buboniccon this weekend if you are in the Albuquerque area come on by bubonicon I'll be reading tonight and on panels and stuff and my good friend Kelly Robson will be flying in to be actually she's already flown in she's there.
She's gonna be toast master and she's gonna come stay with me. So maybe we'll do a joint podcast on Monday morning. And yeah I hope um I hope you could spend the next couple of days finding ways to aggressively fill that. Well. Go out and fill those bucketss people all right I will talk to you all on Monday you all take care bye bye.