Ask the Coach: How Do I Set Goals While Recovering From Burnout? – On Script Mag

In this month’s “Ask the Coach” article, I’m responding to a question from a reader about setting goals for the new year while also recovering from burnout. 

Hi Jenna, it’s the start of the year, and I know it’s past time to sort out my writing goals for 2024, but I’m (still) recovering from burnout and I worry about pushing myself too far. I’m writing on spec, so I don’t have deadlines I have to meet, just a sense that I need to get work out into the world ASAP. What suggestions do you have for making the most of writing this year, while also continuing to recover. Thank you! ~ One Burned Out Writer

It’s no small task, and as someone who’s been in a similar situation, I know it takes as long as it takes. Many writers, creatives, and entrepreneurs around me seem to be experiencing similar circumstances. I’m seeing quite a few thought-leaders advising against pushing hard on the goal-setting front this year.

Whether your burnout is personal, writing-related, or because of the happenings of the broader world, taking the time you need to recover is critical to your ability to generate your best work. So do give the gift of recovery to yourself.

In my response, I discuss:

  • trusting yourself and your intuition with goal setting
  • focusing on what would feel good to you over deadlines and SMART goals
  • focusing on the practices, habits, or rituals you’d like to have in place around your writing
  • guiding your writing while recuperating by intuition rather than force
  • allowing time for “sideways drift”

Thankfully, writing is not incompatible with recuperation. I would argue that writing is a critical part of how we heal and find ourselves again, if we have the patience and willingness to stay with it. 


Want the full scoop? Get all the details in the full article on Script Mag:
If you’ve got writing questions, please send them my way!
I’d love to answer them for you in my column.
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These Are a Few of My Favorite Things


This week I’ve rounded up a collection of my favorite Called to Write articles for you, designed to inspire your writing life, offer guidance and support for times you might be feeling stuck or overwhelmed, and even help you stay on track with your writing during the coming holidays. 


“Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things”

Feeling burned out?

While you might feel like you “should” be rested from staying at home so much this year, the truth is, this has been an exhausting, tumultuous, and difficult time, so giving yourself time to recover is important.

Here are two of my past favorite articles with suggestions about how to recover. 

7 Steps to Recovering From Creative Burnout

When you have nothing left


Wondering if you should be pushing to write when you’re sick, exhausted, or grieving?

Here’s one of my favorite articles about when to write, and when to take it easy:

When to Write and When to Call It a Day


What counts when it comes to writing?

On a lighter note, when it comes to writing regularly, sometimes writers twist themselves into knots thinking they have to be writing “new words” every single day of the year.

My opinion? Not so.

Hint: This article will help you adjust your mindset about what “counts” as “real writing,” and is critical when it comes to setting goals and resolutions for the coming year. 

What “Counts” as Writing?


Having trouble staying motivated to write in these uncertain times? 

Here are two articles designed to help you navigate these choppy waters and keep writing.

Living and Writing In Uncertain Times

7 Mindset Perspectives to Motivate Your Writing — On the Final Draft Blog


Want to keep writing through the holidays? 

Here are articles to bring holiday cheer and practical strategies to help you keep writing. 

What has writing given you that you’re grateful for?

10 Tips to Help You Keep Writing Through the Holidays


I hope you enjoyed this collection of articles and I’m wishing all the best to you and your writing in the coming days and weeks.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash