So what do you guys recommend as a rehabilitation subject for a burned out webmaster?
Right back to the OP's question. I have a question for you. In order to better dream up ideas as suggestions it would help if we know what your current duties are as a 'webmaster'. For some carrying that title, perhaps in a corporate environment, duties can be watered down. Whereas someone working for themselves probably wear many hats, a jack of all trades but master of none.
Myself for example. In recent months I have noticed my enthusiasm waning for Internet development. I know myself well (don't we all) and throughout my working life whenever that feeling sets in it invariably leads to boredom. Shortly thereafter it typically has led to a career change.
I tire of things quickly when they are no longer a challenge and that leads to not enjoying my work -- then there's no point. So, knowing that I.T. is among the better things for me to be involved in right now I realized I need to stimulate my hungry mind.
For me, that stimulation has been adopted by diving into the challenge of discovering and learning all I can about networking. I'm referring to infrastructure, not mingling with people. The root of the Internet is obviously the infrastructure that organizes and carries data. I would then consider Linux, Unix, and other lesser OS technologies to be a good starting point.
That's why I recently bought a very good book about Server Administration, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS in particular. I've turned my old desktop into a lab without any fears of busting up something critical. If I mess it up real bad I just have to reformat and reinstall. I'm enjoying the new-found challenge while at the same time benefiting from it in the long-term.
When I started out 15+ years ago I adapted to PCs quickly. Within a year of first using one I built a website for a children's charity and it was fruitful for garnering much needed attention and financial donations for our cause. I was an employee that had a good grip on understanding computers so the chore of website development fell on me even though I knew nothing about it. That didn't stop me -- I learned what I needed to in order to get something functional online (I was the organization's truck driver at the time lol). If I remember correctly it was mid-1998. At that point I recognized the value of the Internet and made a conscious choice to change career paths once again (I had quite a few along the way). I returned to college as a mature student to study programming.
Networking is the last frontier for me, Linux in particular. My ambition is to now become proficient with it all via command line usage. Until that time I hope to continue to develop effective websites for 'little' business people who offer genuine products or services within their communities. I'm also drawn to ones who could not otherwise afford the type of services I can provide for them. It's my investment in growing my garden. I'm hoping that will lead to long-term business relationships in which they will continue to employ me for their long-term hosting and maintenance so I can rely on that residual income when I eventually retreat to the wilderness to live out my final decade in peaceful contemplative seclusion :)
You, seoskunk, and probably many other curly fries eating members here at WebmasterWorld need mentally stimulating challenges to keep you motivated. Maybe you just need to learn a new I.T. related skill to keep your other aspects alive.
Other than networking right now, on the development end, my love/hate relationship with google keeps me going. I severely dislike everything surrounding their business practices. But I love the challenge of trying to stay one step ahead of them. Lately they are a tough nut to crack, not because they are smart, but because they have gone wild. They need more fresh air and sunlight. Speaking of which, so do I, catch you later.
Just remember that new life grows out of burnt out forests. We experience our freshest growth after burning out a few times during our lives.