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Blog Briefs: On Burnout, with Garth Nix

In which a bunch of authors & editors are invited to answer the question: How do you deal with creative exhaustion?

In certain writing circles dedicated to professionalism & achievement, there’s a question we use to test ourselves. The question is ‘What would Garth do?’


When I have tapped out the reservoir that is my creative mind, I refill it by experiencing other people’s creations: stories, music, performances, art, history and philosophy. I also “refill” by taking in the natural world, spending time without people or their works, looking at the sea, or a tree, or a bunch of parrots happily bickering in a palm tree. All of this adds up, but it may take time to build the reservoir back up to a point where you can draw on it again, to create new work.

Garth Nix is the author of quite a few books and stories and has quite often been creatively exhausted, and recovered.