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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

If You Ask Me: Author Burnout, Oh No!

You may have heard of Work Burnout and even School Burnout, but have you ever heard of Author Burnout?

You know, when you’ve spent such a long time loving an author’s work and devouring each one of their books as they’re released and then suddenly you find that you’re not enjoying that author’s books anymore? You may not even know why that is, just that you’re not connecting to those stories anymore.

That’s what recently happened to me with a favorite author. I discovered this author two years ago and read her back list of books all while eagerly awaiting a new series. I loved every book she wrote in her back list and even gave away a few of them here on the blog. I was so excited to talk about them to anyone who would listen and when I saw on her website that she was getting ready to release the first book in a new series, well, I was ecstatic!

Then the first book came out, I read it and reviewed it. No problem, I loved it and the premise of the overall story that connected the three heroines. Second book comes out and I loved it more than the first. By then I was so ramped up to read the third and final book in the series because the heroine seemed like a total bad ass. So I get an ARC and guess what?

It disappointed me.

I was underwhelmed with the female character and the lack of real development not only with her but with her relationship with the hero. She didn’t have the spark that I saw in the previous book, nor did she live up to the reputation that she built up in book 2. I really did feel let down by this book because I expected a tigress but instead got a sickly kitten. Still, that book had some good points that saved it from being a total loss. No big deal right? Happens all the time with different series’ so I didn’t think too much of it.

Fast forward to a few months ago when I’m once again reading an upcoming book by this author and the same thing happens. I’m not impressed with the book. It has everything that its predecessor had: Spy games, romance and adventure but I just couldn’t get through it!

It was then that I identified the problem: I had Author Burnout.

I was so upset by this! I didn’t know what to do because I didn’t want to give a bad review to an author that I had previously loved but was now burned out by. When I write my reviews I’m always conscious of the fact that while it might not have been my cup of tea, if it’s a well written story then it is bound to be someone else’s pot of gold. Yet with this book, I just couldn’t find anything positive to say other than it had an interesting plot. I didn’t even finish the book that’s how bad my burnout was!

I went through a myriad of emotions for a few days, disappointment, embarrassment, anger (at myself), guilt and finally, resignation. I resigned myself to the burnout I was feeling. Slowly I started to accept that while this author was and still is a favorite of mine; I had become disconnected to her style of writing and her characters.

My burnout didn’t end in a few days and now, a few months (and books) later; I still haven’t picked up another book by that author. I still feel burned out but now I also feel wary about trying again. It’s almost like I was in a relationship with these books, got burned and now am afraid to jump back into that world.

I have tried reading different sub genres, re-reading the author’s back list (which I found I couldn’t finish either) and now I have come to the conclusion that I need an extended vacation from that author, an “I love you but I need some space…” type of thing. It doesn’t mean that the stories aren’t good but that I’m just not in the right space for them to work for me.

When will it end? I don’t know. In fact, I don’t have a solid answer for what to do when you have author burnout, so if you do, please share. I’m not exactly thrilled with this burnout thing.

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