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Burn out

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Georgiaguy, May 11, 2011.

  1. Georgiaguy

    Georgiaguy Member

    How do you guys keep it from happening, or at least handle it.
    I still love sports. I love going out and covering events, writing stories, even taking pictures, but the deskwork and the politics in the office just got to me at my last job.
    I was promised a few things that never came to pass, and the constant deskwork just got me. I got real sloppy with copyediting and at times I even made some stupid mistakes inserting errors when making tables and lists. I got fired, and I deserved it, but the burnout has not gone away.
    Any suggestions guys?
  2. EagleMorph

    EagleMorph Member

    Take some time to analyze what you really do love.

    Do you love writing? Do you love journalism? Because if you just like those things, or are only mildly interested in those things and don't mind the work involved, but are in the business because you love sports, then it might be time to find another line of work.

    Number 1 rule to anyone entering this business, outside of knowing that it could collapse at any minute: If you just love sports, stay a fan. If you love writing and journalism, then enter at your own risk.
  3. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    It's an issue for a lot of people. I think variety is important. If you're doing all writing or all copy desk work, it's easy to become a little bored with things.

    It's also important to get away from things, to have a life outside of work -- as hard as that can be at times.

    No easy answers, but don't feel like you're alone in this predicament.
  4. TrooperBari

    TrooperBari Well-Known Member

    Most definitely -- which makes me look askance at any job ad asking for a "sports nut."

    Mark is correct that having a life outside of work is important. I've struggled with that and continue to do so. It helps to have one or more hobbies that have nothing to do with sports and/or journalism, allowing you to completely leave your work world behind. I've started reading a lot more -- almost all non-fiction, but subjects like science, travel, foreign cultures, history, etc.

    It also helps to have someone to talk to about how you're feeling. Even if it's just a friend, loved one or professional who has no clue about the business, talking things out can't hurt.
  5. Hank_Scorpio

    Hank_Scorpio Active Member

    Like others have said, make sure you have other non-sports, non-journalist activities/interests.

    Even now that I'm out, I find it a little hard to just watch a random sports event. I have to have at least a passing interest in one of the teams. I am getting better at that somewhat, which probably comes easier the longer I've been away.
  6. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Catch-22. Many of us got into this corner of the busines because we enjoy sports. So we watch sporting events we're not covering, just because we like sports. If you're not careful, it becomes all sports 24/7.

    I find it nice to have a handful of friends who are neither sports fanatics nor journalists. We can talk about politics, religion, society, whatever and that provides a nice break from time to time. Wish I had more time for that.
  7. valpo87

    valpo87 Guest

    I'm currently going the exact route that you are - I'm writing, photography, editing and designing pages.

    Yes, I'm probably becoming a little burnt out and have occasionally looked at other options. For me, I just keep reminding myself that the truly dedicated in any business should get noticed. Even if that's a faulty logic, you have to believe that something good can come from this tragedy we call life.

    At the office, I will listen to as much music as I can and pace myself better so there is less stress. Maybe next time, jam to some Jimmy Buffett or AC/DC while writing or photo editing?
  8. wicked

    wicked Well-Known Member

    Georgiaguy, sorry to hear about your job deal.

    I lost my job a few years ago and while I got back on the horse quickly, it took me a while to get a full-time gig. In that time I was evaluating my options, and I decided this is where I want to be.

    Still sometimes wonder if I made the right choice, but for now I'm happy where I'm at.
  9. zagoshe

    zagoshe Well-Known Member

    Stay away from sports reporters, for one, as they can wear you out and make you hate being around sports quicker than any group on the planet.
  10. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    It really is the people that will either keep you sane or burn you out, and many sports reporters are guilty of being like that. I think the reason many in this profession burn out so fast is because their job forces them to have frequent, and often unpleasant (even if just because they guy just lost a game) interactions with people who would rather not interact with them.
  11. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    What keeps me going is the work I'm doing.
    I hate my company. Hate it. My bosses have no idea what they're doing - Schieza can attest to that - and have only tried to fix meaningless little things as a way to take control. The only good thing is they've left me alone to do what I do best, which is put out a kick-ass product.
    I think if I was stuck on one beat, I'd get burned out quick. I get to cover nine schools that represent six papers and a variety of sports. I've built relationships with coaches and now, after being here for four years, am seeing kids I covered in Little League play high school ball.
    The minute I dread going to work is when I think I'll be done and if anyone has every dreaded work, maybe that's when it's time to leave.
  12. Georgiaguy

    Georgiaguy Member

    Thanks folks, I thought if anyone could understand it would be you folks.
    I miss covering events and writing stories, but I have a job now taking care of family owned rentals. I would like to string a few stories now and again, but I don't think I can work full time for a paper again, it is just too draining for me.
    In a 4 year period I went from writing and taking pics and doing desk a night or two a week to doing mostly desk work and writing occasionally. I then took a new job doing all layout because I was pretty good at it and I was looking for a change, what I didn't realize was that just doing layout all the time just zapped my passion.
    I was never a very good copy editor, but when I was writing I could handle the layout duties beter because I was not in the office all the time. The covering of the events helped keep me going through the desk nights, and when the covering of events ended, it didn't take me long to start making mistakes.
    Thanks again for the words of advice, and if I never write another sports story I can say I got to cover the Masters, so hey I did ok in my book.
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