Facts of Life,  Indie Author Life,  Motivation

Writer Burnout & Pandas

Happy New Year!! ๐Ÿ˜€

Ohmigosh, you guys! This time last year feels like it was so long ago. A lot of things changed last year, most of them internal, but when I think about it all, it really reminds me of how long a year is and how much time we truly have to make changes and reach goals. This time last year, my hair was straight, I had two books out in the world, and I still ate dairy once in a while – something I’m quite allergic to so I suffered on the regular. Now I’m curly haired for the first time since I was like ten or something, I have four books out, I’m dairy-free, and I have a beautiful new bookshelf in my living room that’s encouraging me to collect more books! ^_^

Speaking of books – I have lots of reading on the agenda this year, especially this month. Reading seems to be the cure for being burnt out with writing. I didn’t think I was burnt out last fall when my fourth book was published. It wasn’t nearly as dramatic as the burn out I experienced the year before. But as the months dragged on, and I continued to feel like I never wanted to write again, I finally accepted that I had worn myself out. It wasn’t the writing itself, per se, that wore me out. It was that in combination with being horribly tired and a general basket case.

I spent most of 2017 and 2018 quite sleep-deprived. I couldn’t fall asleep mostly, for hours, but when I did, I woke up feeling wrecked. Luckily, I discovered that I write more subconsciously than consciously, but there were quite a bit of tiny and medium-sized things that were falling apart as a result of going that long without good sleep. And this was on top of the several years of on and off again insomnia that came before it. Sure, I had a few nights here and there, but for over a year, I couldn’t sleep well for more than a couple of days at a time to save my actual life.

It might go without saying, but it’s extremely hard to think when you’re sleep-deprived. Like, I thought I was sleep-deprived before, and I was, but this was like uncharted territory kind of sleep-deprivation. My siblings both had kids for the first time last year – and new parents are often really tired for a while – and I was like, Yeah, that’s what I feel like every day. Honestly, it’s been mildly funny watching them struggle through this, because for years no one understood why it was so hard for me to function. I’m not gonna lie – didn’t have as much pity as you’d think. Welcome to Sleep Hell. ๐Ÿ™‚

The good news is, I’m sleeping much better now! Thanks in part to kicking dairy completely in the ditch. I did try before, I really did, but I swear there are drugs in that stuff, and it’s hidden in so many places! Yeah, I’d read ingredient labels, but I found out one of my ex-favorite restaurants cooks half of everything in butter, so that explained a lot.

In any case, I did set a deadline of March 31st for the work-in-progress. I’m not really confident it’s going to happen, because I still don’t feel very up to writing. But reading gave me fuel last year, so maybe with some tiny attempts from me to write a paragraph or two every couple of days, and a lot of reading, maybe I’ll get some of my creative energy back? There’s no pressure, so if I don’t meet my deadline, I’m not going to pitch a fit. But as I like to say, there’s a fine line between needing a break and being lazy. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, Happy 2019! Happy Writing! Happy Reading! Happy Life. ๐Ÿ˜€

Here are some happy pandas because I love pandas! ^_^



  • Jodi

    Ohhh, little guy with his bamboo snack! *melts*

    What gets me is the fact that you went through two years in a state of burn-out with insomnia and issues related to dairy, yet you still pumped out FOUR BOOKS. Damn, woman! Sign me up for lactose intolerance.

    I’ve totally been in Sleep Hell right there with you. AND–I became a vegetarian a year and a half ago and cut my dairy intake by 80-90%, and guess what? I’m sleeping better too! Only problem is hubby’s snoring has been increasing in volume and regularity this past year, so now THAT’S keeping me awake. Out of the frying pan into the fires [of Sleeping Hell].

    Happy Odd Number Year girly!

    • Krystal Jane

      All the panda love! ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Dang, you make me sound like a rockstar. Lol! I remember when you went vegetarian! Iโ€™m right there with you. For some reason itโ€™s easier for me to just avoid all the animals. And I actually enjoy cooking again!

      I hope the snoring gets better! Sleeping Hell is rough waters.

  • Michelle Athy

    Was it just me or did 2018 feel like it lasted a decade? I wish you good, regular sleep this year–you really can’t function without it. 2018 was pretty stressful, but I’m ready for 2019. Bring it on!

    • Krystal Jane

      It really did! I hear people saying it went by fast, and Iโ€™m like, what dimension are they living in? Haha.

      This is going to be a great year! Totally bring it! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Tyrean (@TyreanMartinson)

    Oh, 2018 was tough. I think any kind of sleep disorder sucks. I’ve slept too long (weird, but this isn’t actually energizing when it’s illness-forced sleep or with a thyroid disorder), too little (insomnia due to some PST symptoms that rear their head every once in a long while), and just oddly (in 2-3 short shifts due to having small children). I actually think that having a small child is easier than the other kinds of sleep issues. If you need a nap and your baby is napping (and if you have maternity leave, I know this might be a big if), you can sleep at the same time as your baby and that’s how I survived. My whole family has sleep-walking, talking issues so … we have an interesting household at night sometimes … 2 shifts of sleep is better than none.
    Hope you get some rest, some great reading, and some energy in 2019!

    • Krystal Jane

      Thank you! I hope this is a great year for you! I remember the issues you talked about on your blog. I hope things are better. Too much sleep is definitely not energizing. I think my siblings were so used to good sleep that itโ€™s completely thrown them off. But it definitely looks easier than regular insomnia, and at least thereโ€™s a good reason for them to be sleep deprived. My sister was actually happy to get back to work. Lol! My niece has been quite hard to put to sleep since day one.

  • Christine Rains

    Glad you figured that out and you’re sleeping better. I don’t function well if I don’t get at least 8 hours of sleep either. I was crazy as a sleep-deprived new mother! But then I learned to nap which I never did before. That helped a lot. I settle in bed earlier this days to give me time to settle my mind and sleep better. Hope your 2019 is off to a great start!

  • jennifersilverwood

    Girl, I can relate with so much of this. Had a similar experience this past year with lack of real sleep and basically a major creative meltdown. It’s funny how we miss the signs until we crash. Good news is we hit rock bottom and now we get to climb back up ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s a one day at a time kind of thing, and I’ve been working on forming better habits. Also, totally with you on the reading. It really can and does make a difference. Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

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