BlogHow to Stay A Creative Academic Writer And Avoid Burnout
How to Stay A Creative Academic Writer And Avoid Burnout
Feb 08, 2019, 11.42 AM
The couch suddenly looks irresistible, inviting you to lay down and rest.
You can’t make yourself start writing, and you are easily distracted from work.
The essays that usually take a couple of hours suddenly consume two or three days.
You leave the computer every 10 minutes because you need another cup of coffee.
If you recognize any of these signs, you are on the verge of burning out. In the beginning, the symptoms may be subtle. You won’t be able to tell them from a fit of procrastination or simple tiredness. However, if they persist, you are in trouble. If academic writing is your primary or only source of income, burnout can leave you scrambling for new employment options. There is no need to panic just yet, we’ve got you covered!
Burn Out Is Natural
Let’s be honest. We are all human, and getting tired and bored with the same work is natural. After you have been writing essays, theses, and case studies for a year, five or ten, there is nothing else you can tell about the death sentence, abortion, and euthanasia. If you have to look at another assignment dealing with Shakespeare or Hemingway, you might have a meltdown.
So don’t treat burnout as a problem. Think of it instead as a way of your body and brain to tell you that you need change or at least take a break. If you catch yourself getting tired and bored with the job early enough, there is a chance to forestall serious trouble. A short reprieve can bring you a second wind and invigorate your imagination. So you can return to academic research with fresh eyes and replenished energy reserves.
How To Stay A Creative Academic Writer
After you notice the first signs of burnout, it is necessary to take precautions. Here are some ideas that have worked for thousands of academic writers:
Step down your workload. If you have been writing 3,000 words a day for a year, you might want to take a step back and take on fewer orders. When you decrease the daily word count, make sure you will be able to submit the orders on time to avoid troubles with high-maintenance customers.
Branch out into new fields. If you have only been writing Business and Economy papers, you might feel too comfortable with the topics. They will inevitably bore you. So try writing papers in related subjects, like Politics or Finance. You might want to do a one-eighty and write about Art or Philosophy. Just make sure you have enough time to complete the in-depth research of the new field before you take the order.
Mix and match paper types. In the spirit of previous advice, try changing the typical papers you write. If you only work on theses, writing a dozen of two-page essays might clear your head. Besides, short orders are easier to complete, even if you are new to the subject.
Stay healthy. Remember the old saying about a sound mind in a sound body. When you spend 10 hours per day at the laptop, your body needs extra help to stay in top form. So eat healthy food, exercise once in awhile. And go out to remind yourself that there is a whole world outside of the academic writing world.
If you follow these tips, the risk of you burning out will be significantly lower. But you might still want to take a break from academic writing and try some other types of freelance work. You can even keep research writing as a part-time job or a hobby. But if you are sure you want to go on, we have a few extra tricks to get new ideas, when you are stuck on a particularly challenging order.
Where To Get New Ideas For Academic Writing
Once you have written a dozen paper on the same topic, it seems, you can’t say anything new without plagiarizing your own work. However, there are ways to produce unique essays for your clients without resorting to such drastic measures.
Generate new ideas
You might rely heavily on books and journals to support the arguments, but the key to an A-worthy paper and client satisfaction is a fresh idea. Brainstorm the topic before you start research anew and classify your thoughts on a scale from possibly correct to exciting, but likely wrong. Hoard these little nuggets in a text file or a note-taking app, and use them whenever you get to write on a topic you know like the back of your hand.
Work on multiple ideas
When you have several options, there is no need to choose one and discard others. Collect research for every idea. Then, you can decide which of them has more promise before making the final decision. Besides, even if you don’t use the discarded options now, they might come in handy in the future.
Utilize all possible research tools
A mere decade ago we didn’t have such a variety of peer-review journals with online access to full-print versions. And today academic writers have free reign of Google Scholar, Researchgate, and Academia.edu. You can set up alerts for the subjects you work on or prominent researches you would like to follow. Even academic blogs and Twitter accounts can be useful in specific fields. These tools will help you quickly collect the most recent and credible sources to cite in research papers and theses.
If right now you can’t even look at a keyboard without feeling tired and anxious, it’s time to get a break from academic writing. Before your burnout becomes permanent, use our advice to shake up your routine and get the creativity back. And remember that not everyone is lucky enough to work from home without a strict nine-to-five schedule and a boss breathing down their neck. Once you recognize all the benefits of being a freelance research writer, you will get your second wind.