Creative burnout is real. You feel it when you try to sit down and you have nothing to say anymore. This is not the same as distraction because you will also find yourself hating other kinds of creativity. You won’t want to read books or watch TV or movies. It is a kind of depression, creative burnout. You won’t feel like yourself. You will spend time wondering—will I ever write again? Maybe I just wrote everything I had to write in me and now it’s gone.
I’ve been through this. More than once. That’s why I try to talk to people about it. It’s a part of the process. A crappy part of the process, I admit. But it’s real. I wish I could skip it. Or at least most of the time I wish I could skip it. But it often happens that after I go through creative burnout, I find the work I write afterward is more—deeper, more interesting, more vulnerable, more daring. I go through a transformation in the midst of this.
(Now this is not me saying you shouldn’t also consider going to a doctor about depression medication if you’re feeling depressed or seeing a counselor, because creative people also struggle with more depression than most, in part, I think, because we’re more sensitive to feeling the weight of the world on our shoulders).
Let me just say that you will get through this. Your words will come back. You will have more things to say about life and the world. You will have more of yourself you want to share.
But not right now.
And that’s OK.