Category: hard to categorize

Burnout

burn·out
ˈbərnˌout/
noun

  1. the reduction of a fuel or substance to nothing through use or combustion.
    “good carbon burnout”
  2. physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress.
    “high levels of professionalism that may result in burnout”

Burnout happens all the time for creative folks. When your work is your life, it’s hard to give anything less than 100% all the time. But it’s a slippery slope that’s easy to slide down. You give so much of yourself to your work, it’s such a large part of you and your life, you want to do and be the best. It’s hard. It takes a tremendous amount of time and energy.

It’s easy for brilliant young professionals to burn out. They shine so brightly only to flame out just as fast.

Burnout causes bad decisions and poor choices. Even the strongest of us have fallen victim to it. The key to survival is to get out of the burned-out state and learn from the experience so that you don’t fall into it again.

I’ve always thought of burnout as a luxury.

Later in life, when you have bigger concerns (like a long-term career) and more responsibilities (like a family or mortgage), you don’t have time to burn out. You can’t burn out when others are depending on you. You just have to keep pushing through.

Bouncing back from burnout is hard.

The easy answer is always to find your work-life balance. That’s very weak advice. Life in general is all about balance, not just finding time to juggle working with your life away from work. If you’re a creative professional, the kind who show up every day to make things happen, your work is with you every minute of every day. You don’t get to turn off at 5 o’clock then turn it back on at 8 the next morning. It doesn’t work that way.

I haven’t been burnout out in years. Exercise and focusing on my family help keep stress in check. I draw a tremendous amount of strength from seeing my children’s faces. I look in their eyes and find the strength I need to keep pushing through even the hardest times.

Finding balance is not easy and be careful of anyone who tells you how to do it. There is no one-size fits all answer.

 

I wrote about my favorite baseball player, Jeff Bagwell, a while back. I lauded him for his professionalism and his Stoic demeanor. Over the course of the 2017 I’ve become such a huge fan of George Springer.You can see the joy in his every movement. The Springer Dinger. Sunflower Shower. Dancing in the dugout. We don’t see this kind of exuberance enough. MVP of the 2017 World Series. Well deserved.

I know many writers use a prompt to get going. Although I hardly qualify myself as a writer, I always use a prompt, even if it is something as simple as a reaction to something I heard somewhere.

Does coffee count as a prompt?

Lately, I have found that all my writing comes from articles I read and the authors get me to thinking. This is good, right?

So I’ve coined a term for this style of writing: Riffing off. This word accurately describes of how I write. It’s kind of like ripping off, but more than that – I take what someone starts, expound upon it, and maybe make a little headway on furthering the issue.

There is no copyright or legality here. Just like Shakespeare, my made-up words are a gift to the world. Feel free to riff off at will.