Panel Burnout

There will come a day when you don’t want to panel anymore. And that’s okay.

I can name at least a handful of panels I use to do for about 3 years, before running out of fumes. Here’s what I do when I feel the burnout coming.

Stop trying to do the popular thing.

No really, it helps to not follow what everyone else is doing and stick to what you enjoy. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but hear me out. Every season, there’s a new “It” anime or J-game that everyone fawns over for a time. The staying power of that product is temporary at best. So, direct your energy towards a show or game or manga that makes you the happiest at the moment.

You’d be surprised (or maybe not surprised) that a panel you submitted out on a whim proved to be popular enough to make the program that year.

Rediscover what made you want to do a panel on it.

Going back to that panel I would repeat every year, it was a workshop for Yoga inspired by Avatar: The Last Airbender series. I had spent almost 3 years teaching the same moves at various cons that I started to get a bit bored with the same routine.

So, I sat down and revamped how the workouts would go. I even went as far as rewatching a few seasons for ideas to create my more advanced classes. Thus, Avatar Yoga 201 and 202 were born.

Sometimes, you have to take a step back and really asses whether your panel is still relevant to today’s audience. But, you should also remember what made them fun for you to put it together in the first place.

Cutback on submitting too many panels.

This is probably the source of many repeat burnouts. You might find yourself submitting 5 to 10 panels for a con and suddenly, you’re hosting more events than actually enjoying the con.

While getting that free pass for the weekend is awesome, try to keep it to the minimum requirements. Honestly, you should only be submitting 2 to 3 panels that meet the hours. Downtime in between talking to the mass should be your priority.

Skip a year of paneling.

I’ll admit this is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. But, I thank my past self for making the decision one year to not submit any panels.

Sometimes, your brain needs a chance to recharge and reconnect with the fandom without stressing over a new workshop/ in-depth series dissection or game show. Take the year off to enjoy someone else’s labors.

Who knows, maybe their panel will inspire you to make a fun event for next year.


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