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Blog Briefs: On Burnout, with Hal Duncan

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

My first World Fantasy Convention, Hal Duncan stood out as vivacious, charming & well, crazed. Thank god he hasn’t changed.

A lot of the time the burnout I get is project-specific, so I’ll just jump to another project — which might well be something I burned out on a few weeks back or even months ago. If it’s fiction wide, I might jump to poetry. If it’s with all creative writing, I might, say, arse around with Garageband, Paintbrush and iMovie, constructing a 20 minute stickman slideshow animation for a sea shanty about Matelotage and Mutiny, the gay pirate gods of love and death. (Seriously, it’s on Youtube.) Or I’ll try and get a column written, or find some email that requires a meaty response, or there might be an MS sitting waiting for paid critique. Basically, I’m really fucking fickle, so my first impulse is really to preempt full system-wide burnout by latching onto whatever passing fancy grabs my eye, and as often as not because I’m approaching it as an escape from whatever has become The Evil That Is WORK, I find myself getting completely stoked again. But if I just can’t get my head in the game with anything, I’m also lazy as fuck, so I’ll happily just faff with the interwebs, grazing on Twitter or Wikipedia, (or Tumblr, with its surfeit of pretty young men,) or watch the entirety of The Wire… or read a book, of course. Cause, as they say, it’s all research.

– As homophobic hatemail once dubbed him, “THE…. Sodomite Hal Duncan!!” (superfluous punctuation included) is a part-time poet and columnist, full-time writer of SF, fantasy and fiction that’s just plain strange.