Wanting to Stop (drop, and roll)

I haven’t been here in a long time… or anywhere in all honesty…

For anyone who may not know me, hi, I’m Emerald. I’m grateful if you don’t know me. I don’t use this platform a lot, and I don’t use many platforms lately. I dread logging into Discord, and after many months (and years in some cases), I finally separated my social media accounts so that I could have my personal space and my writing persona separate. And I want to stop writing, or at least stop calling myself a writer.

I think several people would kick my butt for it. It’s the only semi achievement I have in my 23 years of existence. If that’s what you’d like to call it.

I want to quit important roles I have because I’m exhausted all the time, I want to quit the bookstagram/writing accounts because I barely have motivation or time to do either, and just everything now seems… exhausting.

Granted, I work overnights. Almost two years now. Yes, my body hurts. I barely have time to hang with friends nowadays unless we’re all at work or on lunch break, and I can’t tell if it’s my mental health or if I’m simply done.

I don’t know what to do.

I feel like I would let down my past self, because writing was all she had and all she knew how to do despite the things going on in her life.

I want to stop everything, but given that I’ve failed at almost everything else, I’m not sure if I should or if I should simply take a break. I’ve been writing since age 10 or 11, and at my age now, it’s the only thing I can say to people that they view as an achievement. I feel like I failed my past self, or I’m a fraud for calling myself a writer when I haven’t actually written anything in maybe a year or more. When I can’t sit at a desk long enough to write anything. The rare days I do write, it just… it feels stale. Overused words. Plots I’ve written and read for so long. Another voice. Not me.

Yes, these are some ramblings, and please, move this or shut it down if it’s not welcome here. I just need some advice on what to do from this point on, or how to find motivation in a time of really (really) low motivation and mental health.


First of all, hi Emerald! And thank you for sharing. And I understand. I’ve been in those exhausted moments. In fact, I’m kind of in one right now. Social media is just so exhausting sometimes, isn’t it? What started as a fun little thing can quickly turn into this weight on your shoulders that you feel pressured to do even though no one is breathing down your neck about it. But it’s how you might feel and it’s totally okay and understandable.

One thing I must say here is that I can’t relate to you or give any advice for imposter syndrome as it is something, I guess, I’m lucky to not feel. Imposter syndrome, however, is a very common thing with writers. What you are saying that you feel like a fraud or that what you wrote wasn’t you or that you have failed, these are all common things that I’ve seen many writers talk about and struggle with. I’ll let those writers talk. I can’t give you anything for that, sorry.

That being said, I do relate and understand what you said about your stories feeling stale. That’s exactly what I’ve been feeling a little and I couldn’t understand why when I thought I had so many ideas. But recently, I figured it out.

You said you work overnights. I’ve been constantly busy, too. I think that exhaustion trickles into our mental spaces that need to be open if we are to relax and enjoy something.

So, I’m in the midst of writing a job application and moving. So, so, so many details involved in that. Even when I’m supposedly relaxing, watching YouTube or reading a book, I’m not freed from those tasks because they’re not done. I feel too exhausted mentally to enjoy something because I also need mental space in my head to enjoy. Being unable to create that mental space is sucking out the joy in other things.

I think that’s why I haven’t been feeling all that inspired or energetic about creative things. Maybe that’s similar to how you feel? I’m trying to understand the best way I can.

In terms of solutions, I would say take care of your mental health, but I’m sure you’re already doing what you can. So, to add to that, here’s something I do that maybe you could try.

I tell myself, sometimes even out loud, that “It’s okay.” For you maybe it would be “It’s okay to not write. No one is telling you to write. Take care of yourself. That is most important. Writing will always be waiting for you when you are ready.”

I actually told myself the other day that “It’s okay to not post on Instagram every day. Instagram will be there when you’re ready to get back. The people will understand. It’s okay to take care of yourself. To take a break.”

You know, we are so darn hard on ourselves, Emerald, so we need to actually tell ourselves that it’s okay and allow ourselves to breathe. It’s important to say it a few times. “It’s okay. It’s totally okay.”

As for this, next time someone asks you, do you think you could pick something else and take writing out of the conversation? If someone asks what you’ve accomplished in life, “Getting a steady job” or “figuring out a healthy eating habit” or “going to bed at a decent time” or whatever. If they say those aren’t accomplishments, suppose you could tell them that they are accomplishments to you personally. You think that might work? Maybe try that?

I think most people will at least view getting a job as an accomplishment. I think.

Or if someone asks what you’ve been doing, you could say “Taking walks and trying to have a normal schedule” or whatever you want to say other than writing. I find that it’s good to not talk about the thing you are taking a break from. If I take a break from Instagram, I don’t talk about Instagram.

Anyway, we are not the same person, so what works for me might not work for you. I do think it’s worth a try, and maybe it’ll be a solution for you. I wish you all the best :blush:


It definitely sounds like you need a break and it’s more than okay to stop writing or going on Instagram or whatever else feels like it’s draining you right now. You don’t need achievements to exist. The fact that you’ve been holding down a night shift job for two whole years is achievement enough.

Allow yourself to rest and then, when you’re doing a bit better, see if you might have the possibility to get a day job. I know it’s tough thing to consider in this economy, but where I live lots of places are hiring, so maybe you’ll have some options. Changing jobs also increases your chances at a bigger paycheck (as oppose to waiting for a raise at your old job).

If changing jobs is out of the question right now, then just focus on resting and cutting yourself some slack. Keep a journal for some pressure-less writing. If you have any other hobby, do that, too. Just for fun. Better days will come, because your worth is your own, and for no one or nothing else to determine.


Social media will do that to you, maybe it’s the pressure of feeling like you need to “perform” for a bunch of other people, rather than enjoying writing for the sake of writing? Trying to do all the social media on top of real life and writing is exhausting. Of all the things important in your life, I think social media definitely can take a back seat for a while.

Do you have words put down on paper/docs somewhere? (I know you do) Then you’re a writer. Don’t let the bad thoughts convince you you’re a fraud just because you’re taking an extended vacation. We’re all so conditioned to stay busy and productive all the time that we feel guilty when we take a break from a few things every once in awhile.

And this is okay. It may be your brain’s way of trying to tell you “hey, I’m tired, let’s take a break, yeah?” Are you writing because you want to, because you enjoy what you’re writing? Or because you feel like someone else expects it of you (bookstagram maybe?) It is totally normal and okay to take time away from writing. I personally had a time frame of about five years (right around the time I was your age, actually) where I didn’t write a word.

We always welcome posts for encouragement or mental health ramblings. Sometimes just getting it off your chest helps.

This may be an obvious question, but have you seen a therapist or psychiatrist? You definitely sound burnt out. And burnout is more than just being exhausted. It’s almost a complete shutdown of all but basic functioning (and sometimes even that doesn’t always happen!), and often a mental health specialist can be helpful.

My question to you would be this: do you want to be motivated to write right now? Or are you trying to stop feeling guilty that you’re not writing?

When I find myself low on motivation to write, I read instead. Sometimes just getting out of my own head for a little bit helps spark that creativity again. And it’s something that could be good for your brain too, given your current feelings. Take some time to relax and unwind. Go home and veg. Catch up on books you want to read. Anybody who thinks they have any right to tell you you’re a failure or haven’t accomplished anything, or that you’re “letting anyone down” by not writing regularly can go jump in a lake. The more pressure you put on yourself to get to writing again will only make it more elusive (speaking from experience, here).

They say write the stories you want to read, and honestly, it’s so true. If you don’t like what you’re writing, maybe you just need to consider what you’d love to read if you had the opportunity. We’re doing weekly writing prompts here now, maybe keep an eye on those and see if any spark your creativity (no pressure though, they’re just for fun!).

But above all, take care of yourself. You are a writer (and will always be a writer) and it will come back to you eventually. You don’t owe anyone anything, and you are not a failure for taking some time off from something that sounds like it’s become more of an obligation than something you enjoy. There’s enough work and stress in the world right now, you don’t need to take on more (especially given you’re going on two years of overnight shifts, yikes!). But take burnout seriously, and if you can, I’d highly recommend finding a therapist (or better yet, a psychiatrist, cuz they can prescribe meds). It’s very common for females to hit a point of burnout around 25. You’re just a little ahead of the curve. It’s gonna be okay. Try not to be too hard on yourself. Everyone goes through this type of thing and experiences imposter syndrome, and I think I can safely say we all know how lonely and depressing it can feel. We’ll be here to try and encourage you as best as we can, even if it’s just to give you a place to vent. I’m glad you popped in and felt comfortable enough to share here. :heart: I hope you start to feel better soon.

Also, speaking from experience, you might research executive dysfunction and how it presents in women, especially via ADHD. I could have written this exact post about 8 years ago. It took me way too long to get diagnosed, but if you’re experiencing some of the issues I think you are, I highly recommend trying to find an expert/psychiatrist with experience in that field. Seriously changed my life when I found out.


It’s your mental health. Night shifts mess up everything.

When my father worked for IBP

He worked as a night manager when we first moved up to Iowa. He wasn’t getting along with mom. Every morning he needed to sleep, she wanted to talk and the roles were reversed for evenings. They had two kids, then, and he couldn’t help with school, nothing. They were fighting all the time.

Well, the way the marriage was going, he decided to quit being on the night crew, take a pay cut and within a couple of weeks, everything was good, like they weren’t even having fights over little things a few weeks before.

He didn’t take night shifts again until mom was dying (because bills had to be paid), and then after she passed, he had to take care of everything himself, and those same nightshifts just added to the depression a widow goes through. You have to interrupt your sleep schedule for laundry. Blackout curtains keep the sun from waking you. You’re no longer able to take care of personal business without severely cutting into sleep. Basically you spend more time doing daily life than you ever will for day shifts.

when I worked for Olive Garden

I worked morning, mid, and night shifts, randomly. Not a big deal for a store that closes at 11, right? No, I’d get out of there at 3AM, some nights.

I dropped out of college when I got this job. College was a bit depressing so I didn’t see how much the work isolated me because I had coworkers and customers to talk to all shift.

But I wasn’t driving and there was no bus at 3AM. So, a few weeks of my father coming to get me made him as miserable as if HE was working night shifts. I moved in with my grandparents (a couple blocks away from work). Grandpa just retired from work, so he would get me (and this added to his exaustion). Then I started dating my husband and he would get me sometimes.

I’m now driving and a stay-at-home mother. Just the thought of me going back to work from anywhere around 5pm to 7am upsets my husband. He does NOT want to do this again.

And it would be harder, as we have 3 kids. Besides, when I worked a night shift, ai was cranky for about 3 hours if I had to get up early. Crazy stuff.

I didn’t start writing until I quit working evening/night shifts. Early on it was due to not having a normal sleep schedule. I couldn’t easily sleep at night anymore. The early years of our relationship was hell for many reasons, but this had a part in why it was so bad.

Now, you can drop the title of being a writer if you want, but this is part of the long-standing rage I have with labels. You calling yourself a writer obliges you to do the activities of a writer. Living up to a label is a bunch of bull. You can be a writer who is taking a break. You can be a writer who won’t blog or interact with fanbases. No one requires that of you, except the part of you that wants to live up to the obligations of the title. Again, your are not required to do anything more than what you are capable of handling, day by day.

Titles mean jack. I’ve been a “published author” since the 4th grade, specifically a “published poet”. Entered a school level contest and placed alongside 12th graders for a book that can be bought. But outside that 1 poem, my poetry sucks. I can write limerick ballads, that’s about it. I really didn’t start writing again until my mid-30s. That means for about 25 years of my life I was published, could title myself as I want…and did nothing. No title or label entails what I do with my life. It still doesn’t now.

But if even the title bothers you, seperate from all the obligation, drop it for now. Life has a later to be lived, as well. You can always come back.


I don’t have any cut-and-dry solutions, but imo, reinventing oneself is not a bad thing. The world is full of interesting things to do, and it is totally okay to be a consumer of entertainment rather than a creator. If there’s no joy in writing, there’s no point in doing it. I stopped writing for years on end and did other things. Now i’m writing again. And if I don’t have a story to tell, then I’ll stop again. I’m 47 yo and I did lots of stuff in my life beside work and I don’t regret any of them even if I didn’t stick to it. Living with joy is more important than any single commitment.


I remember an interview with a counter-culture feminist, probably about late 50s, now, about how her faction lost the culture war: pushing for women to be “equals of men” pushed women to not follow a “seasons of life” style emancipation. Can’t be free to tell a career to shove it until your kids are grown. Gotta be career mom and soccer mom at the same time. Leave no time to follow passions to be everything for everyone. It’s extended into areas where kids aren’t involved: job against passions in conflict with relationships.

All this done while “men have arrived” doesn’t require them to be all career dad and soccer dad at the same time. Of course that’s the lie by comparison: they can have a “midlife crisis” where they switch to following a passion, and they die early from allowing the stress of juggling it all rule their lives.

But anyway, SEASONS OF LIFE.

Sorry, I’m very much into women doing what they want, having both parents take care of a kid (no more than one) equally or remaining childless. Def believe in complete equality and no gender roling.

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That wasn’t the point. Yes, do it all, do the fair share, but doing it all in one money of your life is burnout for both sexes. Thought that was a bit more clear.

There’s a word/phrase for that? I’ve seen mentions of it but I didn’t know what it was.

I have a notebook of little ideas, bloops here and there, but each one feels like it’s just another dimension or version of it or of someone else’s ideas, and I just feel… like I’m subconsciously copying them or they’re all just stale and overdone. It’s no longer my own voice. It doesn’t feel like it’s me anymore.

I don’t have free time to even finish a show because I’m trying to figure out my financial problems, editing and re-editing my résumé because I want a better job that I’ll probably never get because I don’t have qualifications for it, trying to get my GED, I don’t have time to study for my GED. Everything is a chore and it’s mentally exhausting — even finishing a show that I once loved is considered a chore at this point because my mind is always going to “oh god, they cut my hours how will I make bills, I’m looking at a blank draft and I can’t do anything with it, am I a failure?”
It’s all clustered thoughts.

Nowadays, getting out of bed and showering is an accomplishment, but I’ve tried that a few times unironically and got handed a slip with numbers for mental health. I know my mental health is horrible but can we applaud that I even got up to come to work today or even cleaned the dishes instead of sleeping all day?

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Every time I glance at our roster (because our dates hired are on it), I’m like… dang… two years and I should’ve been fired a long time ago. The fact that I outstayed at least 10 coworkers (former coworkers anyways) is a small blessing.

We are actually not allowed a raise because we’re making the max allowed for regular associates, and it still barely covers bills (I’ve also been stressed because we found that they’re tampering with our overtime and times and we’re losing money and working for free, which, by policy, they’re allowed to do and if someone mentions a union… well…).

But I am in the process of trying to find something that I could maybe have more stability in or maybe at LEAST a dollar less than what I make now because that’s the most I could stand to lose.

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It feels like a competition sometimes. Someone is like oh I did this many words! and then another is double that. I know it’s an accomplishment to them, I love that for them, but then I look at my own work and I just feel like I failed in some aspect.

Coming from a large family where the main person in it would yell at you for sitting down too long or a pillow was out of place, I definitely feel that this is accurate because if I’m not productive enough, then I’m not doing anything with myself.

I’m not quite sure anymore. A part of me wants to write because I WANT TO, but as I said above, it’s starting to feel a little competitive with other writers and I’m not a very competitive person. It’s just not in my wiring. In the past, maybe.

Actually, I am. A very close friend of mine saw me breaking down at work, to the point where a box startled me and I broke into really embarrassing sobs, and he wants me to seek help because I feel like I’m getting worse. I have good days (some days, it borders on sudden and frequent mood swings), but lately, it’s just been very downwards. Not, you know, dangerously. It’s just. It wears down a person.

A little bit of both? :grimacing:

I didn’t know this but it definitely feels accurate. I spent my childhood and teen years raising kids and being “mature for my age”, so I never had a chance to have a childhood. I guess that’s why it puts me ahead.

I never considered this as a possibility, but if I find someone I trust as a psychiatrist, I might bring that up. BPD and bipolar runs high in both sides of my family, but there are some with ADHD and I’m wondering if I may have one or the other, if it’s not my usual depression?

My break is up but I’ll be reading over the rest shortly

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Yes, there is. Imposter syndrome. Quite common.

That’s exactly how many describe imposter syndrome. Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Yes. We. Can. My words might not mean much for you, but if you’ve gotten out of bed, that’s an accomplishment. I do applaud you. I understand that it’s hard sometimes. But you did it :blush:

And I would say another accomplishment is you coming on here to talk about the challenges you’re facing. I often bottle things up inside until I get to a breaking point and usually I don’t share what’s going on with me mentally, thinking that maybe it’ll solve itself if I only push through in silence. But you came on here to talk about it and called it out.

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I’m not used to talking about it so openly until as of late. The home I come from, we don’t talk about things like this because it means you’re “crazy” (not my choice of words, I’m against even using the word for describing depression and anxiety, that’s just what it was when I lived at home) or you’re not right. I was always told to get over it, that it’s not real, and it kind of dragged me down further because I felt like maybe I was losing it. It impacted a lot in my life, and it’s part of the things I’m still trying to undo today. It’s hard to undo 22 years of conditioning and trauma in just a blink of an eye.

It’s why I had writing in my life, because all these thoughts I had, I could put into word and paper and they would applaud it because they would think it was fiction. That it wasn’t me using another voice.

Nowadays, that voice feels worn out, hoarse, and like it doesn’t belong to me.

I don’t even know if that made sense, to be honest, but it’s definitely how I feel right now :grimacing:

“BD is three to six times more common in people with ADHD than in those without (4).”

So, yeah, the likelihood of being both is pretty darn high. It’s to the point where they suspect that Bipolar and ADHD are related. Surface-wise, there’s a few similarities without relation or comorbidity.

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