Wish You Were Here: Burnout and Dreams Come True

I am a huge fan of burnout.

Four years ago, my writing want-to burned down to the faintest of glimmers of my former passion. What I didn’t know was that moment of “I can’t do this anymore” exhaustion would bring me to today: the launch day for my debut novel, Wish You Were Here.

In the early days of burnout, what I couldn’t do weighed me down. I avoided my office. Yes, I met my writing and editing deadlines, but I didn’t pursue new assignments. Why would I? I was never, ever, ever going to write again.

The advantage of grinding to a halt? I looked up from my keyboard and asked myself a few questions:

  1. Why am I burned out? In the pursuit of a career, I’d said yes to everything without evaluating the consequences of the never-ending yes.
  2. What am I going to do about it? I could continue to beat a dead horse (me) or stop, catch my breath and re-evaluate.
  3. Do I want to keep writing? I gave myself the freedom to walk away from writing. Saying “no more” was a legitimate choice.

The answer to that last question was a no … and a yes.

And that was the beauty of burnout.

I allowed myself to say no to what I had been doing — editing and writing nonfiction — and embrace something new: writing inspirational contemporary romance.

Burnout became an unexpected bend in the road to a whole new writing adventure. Who knew? Burnout — it’s a wonderful thing.

In Your Words: How has a dream come true for you in an unexpected way?

 

I’m involved with The Debs, several other romance writers with May debuts.Dani Pettrey’s Submerged and Olivia Newport’s The Pursuit of Lucy Banning also debut today. Katie Ganshert’s Wildflowers from Winter debuts May 8th. Join us on May 15 for our Debutantes’ Story Soiree: a live, worldwide online party to celebrate our debuts and also learn more about Heart of the Bride, a nonprofit ministry devoted to meeting the needs of orphans worldwide.

 

 

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28 Comments

  1. May 1, 2012, 12:37 am   /  Reply

    Happy Launch Day, Beth!! Party on! Wishing Wish You Were Here all the applause your lovely, engaging, provocative romance deserves. (I added my review to many other sparkly 5 star reviews HERE and HERE)

    Yes, I also discovered a blessing from writer burn-out after working long and hard on my last novel manuscript. Because even though it wasn’t under contract, it was a Genesis winner and was requested by several houses at ACFW, AND was not quite finished, so the pressure to finish well & polish for submission wrung my writer brain pretty dry. Dry enough to go up in smoke if a match lit within 10 yards. Is that what you call burn out? ๐Ÿ™‚ Yet somehow there was still a passion in my gut to communicate, if not necessarily to create story, and I now find myself blogging on the treasures of God’s love and grace. On a *regular schedule* no less. Yes, that was a clumsy curtsey, thank you. So yes to your burnout being a bend in the road to a new writing adventure. I still plan to write fiction (Lord willing), but this feels right, even if a bit unexpected. Yet strangely familiar. Like the timing was just suddenly . . . right.

    All the best to you and WYWH, Beth!! Lord Bless your bendy path in all kinds of amazing ways. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • May 1, 2012, 4:22 pm   /  Reply

      Yes, Camille, that is a perfect description of burnout. And you are handling it with wisdom and wise choices.
      Thanks for joining the launch day celebration!
      ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. May 1, 2012, 6:37 am   /  Reply

    First, I was so excited to see your book on my kindle when I woke up this morning. Now I can’t wait to read it. I am so excited for you!

    Yes, dreams have come true for me in expected ways. After I thought I had ruined my life God restored my life. He showed me what marriage should look like and he reminded me of my dream to write. This pushed me to renew that dream and begin chasing after it. I never thought my darkest moment would turn into my greatest hope.

    • May 1, 2012, 4:23 pm   /  Reply

      Melissa,
      I loved what you shared about your darkest moment becoming your greatest dream. Loved it!

  3. May 1, 2012, 7:05 am   /  Reply

    So glad for you and proud of you. What a nice succinct snapshot of your journey, with so much more to come.
    My dream? Get the keys to the farm today. In the interests of my older son’s 2 young children, have heard it might be best for us (not them) to exchange houses week by week–not so sure about that, but praying for God to show us the very best dream that He will make come true.

    • May 1, 2012, 4:24 pm   /  Reply

      So happy for you today, Dee!
      Keys — lots of symbolism there, yes?
      ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. May 1, 2012, 7:08 am   /  Reply

    The best to you today as Wish You Were Here>/i> debuts! So glad you came over to the dark side. Would really be dark if I could get you into Suspense writing. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    A dream that has come true in an unexpected way…I guess when I first started writing and the very first short story I submitted was bought by Woman’s World.

    I can’t wait to read your next book!

    • May 1, 2012, 4:26 pm   /  Reply

      Pat,
      I remember hearing that story — it always brings a smile to my face.
      And you never know, do you? First the Dark Side and then … ?
      ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. May 1, 2012, 7:47 am   /  Reply

    I’m so happy to watch you follow your dreams. Happy Launch Day. I look forward to seeing you Saturday. Yay!!

    PS I am still bouncing back from my writing burnout from 4 years ago. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m trying say yes to my dreams.

    • May 1, 2012, 4:28 pm   /  Reply

      Your dream has never died, Tiffany. Sometimes dreams get weary — or we do — but in your heart of hearts, your dream stayed true.
      See you Saturday, friend!

  6. May 1, 2012, 8:08 am   /  Reply

    Congratulations on Debut Day!

    I always wanted to live in a historic home, so my husband and I bought a fixer upper eight years ago. It was a dream come true – until it wasn’t. The work was never done, there was only one bathroom and there was very little storage space. But – the house was so pretty after we did all the work and it had a lot of charm. Fast forward to four children and a dog later – the house had become too small and the neighborhood was really busy. I didn’t let the older girls go outside alone because it wasn’t safe. So we started to peek around at what was for sale and drew up some designs to build. My heart was breaking because the dream of living in an older home had died and it was a hard thing to accept.

    One year ago we came across a rambler. Yes, you read that correctly. A rambler was NOT my idea of cool (apologies to everyone who lives in a rambler). But this one had these benefits: 3,500 spacious square feet (twice as much as our old house), a walk out basement, a huge yard, two blocks away from the golf course, on a private street and it is on the Mississippi River. The best thing: the price tag! The house needed some work and it had been on the market for four years – when we came in we offered HALF of the original asking price and THEY TOOK IT! We’ve been living here for a year and at this moment I am sitting in my living room looking out a huge window as the Mississippi rolls by. An unexpected twist in my dreams, but I wouldn’t change living in this rambler for any other house in town!

    • Jeanne T
      May 1, 2012, 10:46 am   /  Reply

      Ahhh! Sighing as I envision you in your rambler. Mostly at how God worked things out giving you the unexpected answer to your dreams. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • May 1, 2012, 4:29 pm   /  Reply

      What a wonderful and unexpected dream come true, Gabrielle!

  7. May 1, 2012, 8:22 am   /  Reply

    Happy Release Day, Beth! Enjoy the thrill of your dream fulfilled. I’m sooo happy for you.

    • May 1, 2012, 4:31 pm   /  Reply

      Thank you, Keli. And thanks for celebrating with me all along the way!

  8. May 1, 2012, 8:27 am   /  Reply

    So happy for you.

    Yes, my dreams have come true- funny thing is, I never even realized it was my dream! So glad God knows me better than I know myself!!

    • May 1, 2012, 4:32 pm   /  Reply

      It’s true — God does know us better than we know ourselves.
      ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. May 1, 2012, 8:29 am   /  Reply

    Beth, your Launch Day has finally arrived!! CONGRATULATIONS!! Your insights about burnout serve as a great reminder to set a workable pace. But sometimes, that’s not possible when many things hit at once. I’m so glad you chose to work through it and keep writing. I’ve downloaded “Wish You Were Here” from Kindle this morning – yes, I waited until your launch day. There’s just something about that excitement! Only $9.99 today on Kindle and I can’t wait to dig into Allison’s adventures. Again, congratulations!!

    • May 1, 2012, 4:33 pm   /  Reply

      Thank you, Donna, for always being such a wonderful support to me.
      Looking forward to celebrating your launch day in July.

  10. Loree Huebner
    May 1, 2012, 8:40 am   /  Reply

    Happy Release Day!

    I’ve been blessed. I’ve had several dreams come true for me in my life.

    Enjoy your special day!

    • May 1, 2012, 4:34 pm   /  Reply

      I am enjoying this day, Loree. It’s been full of surprises.

  11. May 1, 2012, 8:47 am   /  Reply

    Yay!! May 1 is finally here! I’m excited to receive a copy of WYWH in the mail and give it to a friend (since I already have my own copy).

    I think my dream of writing did come as a surprise. I wanted it when I was younger and then pursued journalism instead of creative writing in college. Then, I just moved more into editing than writing. It wasn’t until I “randomly” (and I don’t think it was random…ahem, God) took a fiction writing class in my grad program (thinking, oh this will be fun) that I remembered: I always wanted to be an author. And that’s the spark that started this flame. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • May 1, 2012, 4:35 pm   /  Reply

      You and I have traveled a bit of the same route along the writing road, Lindsay. So thankful our paths crossed.

  12. Jeanne T
    May 1, 2012, 10:50 am   /  Reply

    HAPPY LAUNCH DAY!!!! So excited for you and for what this day is in the pursuing of your dreams! I’m happy dancing for you today!

    Unexpected dream coming true: the writing dream. Wanted to when I was younger, never thought I’d be good enough at it. God plants story in my heart that wouldn’t let me go. So, I’m learning what it is to be a writer–via learning craft, meeting other incredible people also pursuing writing, dreaming bigger about being published. Very unexpected indeed. ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy your day, my friend!

    • May 1, 2012, 4:36 pm   /  Reply

      Yes, your writing was an unexpected dream for you — and for me too. But such fun!

  13. Patti Mallett
    May 1, 2012, 1:16 pm   /  Reply

    HAPPY RELEASE DAY, AS YOU LAUNCH INTO NUMEROUS NEW ADVENTURES!!

    We know you are up to the challenges, Beth!!

    Sending a big hug to YOU, Author Lady!!!

    • Beth Vogt
      May 1, 2012, 5:02 pm   /  Reply

      Thank you, Patti!

  14. May 1, 2012, 10:11 pm   /  Reply

    Love this one and now I don’t feel so guilty for missing a month of blogging. Big plans to start back this week. We’ll see. In the meantime, thank you.

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