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Avoiding Writer's Burnout

I love being a writer, but sometimes I get close to burning out. When you work for yourself, there aren’t any set hours. And there’s no cap on income. Plus you’re working remotely, so it’s not exactly hard on the body.

It’s easy to blow past the point of reasonable working hours without even realizing it. And before you know it, you may just burn out. This article goes over how to set sustainable limits on your writing career so you can avoid burnout.

If you’re looking for more mental health tips that relate to writing, you can check out my course.

Have Set Hours

Try to set hours for yourself every day. They don’t have to be the same

everyday. On Monday, you could work from 9:00AM to 2:00PM, and on Tuesday you could work from 12:00PM to 6:30PM. Just make sure you aren’t working all day long. It’s easy to sit in front of a computer and never get up.

If you don’t want to have set hours, that’s okay. You should at least set a timer for how long you’re going to work. Try this schedule instead: work 5 hours Monday and 4 hours Tuesday. And keep track! Set an alarm on your phone so you know when the time is up. Wrap up any loose ends and then put the laptop down.

Limit Scope Creep

Scope creep is when a client asks you to do more work outside of your contractual obligations without additional payment. If it happens every once in a while, that’s fine. But some clients will start to do it more frequently. They may ask for a higher word count, or additional revision.

Don’t be afraid to say no. You can do it once or twice as a favor, but anything after that is unfair. And you’re a business owner, you can decide what to do and what not to do. If it takes you away from your family or the things you love, put a plug in it. You can ask for additional compensation or just say no.

Limit Clients

There are tons of clients out there. And more clients means more working hours. It may be tempting to take them all. Trust me, I know. But resist the urge to do so. You’ll make fine money with a few high-paying clients. If you take every

lower paying client that comes along, you’ll get stuck in a cycle of writing a lot but getting paid very little to do so.

Make sure that you’re only taking the amount of clients you can sustain in your schedule. It’s okay to say no. I have to do it almost every week. They won’t hold a grudge against you, and you can always check back to see if they are hiring later on.

Build in Automations

If you’re swimming in a sea of tasks, you need to simplify your approach. Try building automations to help. See if you can use software to build and send out your invoice automatically. Or set your email to send out automatically at the same time every month.

Templates are a huge time-saver, too. I have a rule: If I have to do something more than three times, it gets a template. That way I can quickly access what I need instead of reinventing the wheel every time. Pay attention to your common tasks and see what you can automate.


You can’t possibly do everything yourself. Especially as a new business owner. Instead, have someone else write your resume. Or talk to a graphic designer about building your website. Have an accountant do your taxes. Please, please, please have an accountant do your taxes. Trust me, it’s not worth the hassle to do them on your own.

Delegation is a beautiful thing. Assemble a team of people you trust to help you along the way. If you need recommendations, I’m happy to introduce you to the team I use.


Some freelancers find themselves writing all day and night. Not on purpose, sometimes you just get sucked in. Or, you find so many clients that you’re tempted to take them all on. This type of mentality will leave you feeling jaded and burned out.

Make sure you’re setting healthy boundaries so you have time to spend with your family and friends. Build in time for your hobbies, exercise, and cooking. Use the tips in this article to work smarter, not harder.

If you’re looking for more mental health tips that relate to writing, you can check out my course.

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