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Metal Mondays: Burnout is not metal

Metal Mondays is a pretty self-explanatory column; it’s just my takes on music every Monday. It started as my way to write about the best musical genre, but eventually evolved into a huge passion project for me. I made it a goal to write one every week for as long as I could, and I always enjoy writing them. Naturally, I signed up for one each week of winter break that The Post published stories.

Unfortunately, this did not quite pan out the way I had hoped. Only one Metal Mondays has been published over break, and it was one that had just been held over from the previous week because of a technology issue. I was supposed to write one on New Year’s Eve, but I declined in favor of rotting on the couch before celebrating with my family.

I struggled to understand why I was abandoning my column that had brought me so much joy. On days when I could have been writing about my favorite bands and the latest heavy music drama, I was instead watching all of the “Matrix” movies and not moving from the same spot on my couch for hours at a time. This music was my greatest motivator — why would I stop writing about it for no reason other than what seemed like laziness?

I have done a lot of thinking on this. Ultimately, despite initially being in denial, I landed on the fact that I was very, very burnt out.

While this may seem like just an excuse to try and justify my objectively sloth-like behavior over break, I really do believe that I can attribute this lack of drive to overworking myself. I wrote a lot of articles for the publications I’m involved in, not including my school work and spending time with friends.

Additionally, I was turning something I love into a weekly chore. I could talk about metal music for hours without stopping, and writing about it as often as I do is an amazing opportunity. However, It was getting harder and harder to come up with topics that were not overdone, and I felt that my writing had not been meeting my standards. It began to feel like a disservice to the bands that I was writing about when my stories were published.

While I very clearly needed a break, I did not take one and kept pushing through it. Now I see that I simply needed a week where I had not signed up for an article and just read a book or listened to an album that I had been meaning to for a while.

It is good for anyone to realize these things. Especially over a break, we should be cognizant of how we feel and what we can do to help ourselves. For me, it was to stop doing something I love, which was very hard to come to terms with.

But this break from writing allowed me to really focus on the music I was listening to instead of thinking about what I could say about it in next week’s article. It has been really freeing. I’ve listened to a ton of Sepultura, appreciating it for what it is and how lucky I am to be in the same world as the Cavalera twins (instead of thinking about the band's impending final tour). I rediscovered groups I wrote about at the beginning of the semester like Scene Queen and Body Count. I even started listening to the bands that got me into metal again, like Black Sabbath and Skid Row.

This column has been a very valuable thing to me since the first installment I wrote back in September. I never thought it would become such a big deal to me, but I am so grateful for it. That being said, we should remember it is okay to take breaks from the things we love. Whether it's writing, friends or anything that we become attached to, we all need space every now and then. 

Jackson McCoy is a freshman studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to share your thoughts? Let Jackson know by emailing or tweeting him at or @_jackson_mccoy_.

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