web analytics

Blog Briefs: On Burnout, with Tansy Rayner Roberts

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

Tansy Rayner Roberts is a writer & a genuine Taste Maker in the field. Her solution to burnout sounds deceptively easy coming from a mother of two, prolific commentator & busy author. But if I know Tansy, I know she’s not holding out on us.


When I have creative exhaustion, the only thing to do is to not write, and to allow myself to not write, for as long as necessary.  Official Time Off is far more healing and constructive than spending day after day not getting anything done, and feeling like crap about it.  Of course, when you have a deadline, there’s only so much Official Time Off you can afford – so to stave off the creative exhaustion in the first place, my secret is to take weekends.  It sounds daft, I know, but keeping a strict schedule of Work Days and Not Work Days is the best way I have found to keep creative momentum chugging along without burning out too fast.  Of course, if the situation gets really dire, I can always threaten myself with the washing up.  It’s amazing how often that gets the creative juices flowing.

Tansy Rayner Roberts is the author of the Creature Court trilogy, and the Twelfth Planet short story collection Love and Romanpunk.