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OOC - Another Moderating Discussion: How to Manage the Load?

I found myself reminiscing about a significant moderational challenge I've struggled with in the past, that being my tendency to become overwhelmed by the games that I moderate. I can think of a number games off the top of my head where this was the case, but the two most significant ones were Two Kingdoms and Engines of Chaos. In both these games, I was unable to figure out how get out of the cycle of getting far behind and then getting stressed out about how long it took me to produce the material that I felt was needed to keep the game's narratives going. In Two Kingdoms, I burned out and left the game, while with EoC, I put the game on a hiatus that pretty much became permanent.

In retrospect, one of the significant errors I made was that I had taken on more characters than I had the time to write, especially in Two Kingdoms, but in EoC, I started to do the same thing. There were two reasons I believe I did this. The first was that I saw characters and narratives that I felt needed to be propped up, and the second was that I had brain babies that I wanted to see come to life. It is clear to me now that moderation and patience are important in helping me limit my tendency to fall into creating characters for the second reason, but for the first reason, I'm a little less confident on what to do. I feel like propping up other peoples stories can be a noble thing to do, but is their a better way to accomplish that than making characters and potentially overextending myself?

Anyway, so for you moderators and people who have figured out how to manage being overwhelmed, what kinds of things do you do to push through it or lighten the load? Is there an effective way you can structure a game that will distribute the burden on a moderator's shoulders to others? Once you are overwhelmed, what options do you have instead of just quitting?

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