There's a saying that goes something like, we teach what we need to learn the most. You've probably heard the advice, write what you know. Here's another twist...write what you need to learn the most. Could be an article, a blog post, or a full blown ...
There's a saying that goes something like, we teach what we need to learn the most. You've probably heard the advice, write what you know. Here's another twist...write what you need to learn the most. Could be an article, a blog post, or a full blown book.
The process of researching and penning the words helps to etch new behaviors on your brain and ensures that the information will be in your mind ready to be accessed when needed.
One universal affliction that many writers suffer from is overwhelm. There's just too much information flooding in, which prevents you from taking enough action because you're listening to too many people.
Being a lifelong learner on this subject I included a chapter on overwhelm in my book, 'YES! You're Published'. Here are a few excerpts and 3 exercises to keep you moving forward and upward:
Two of the best ways to avoid Overwhelm is to clarify exactly what you will and won’t do and whom you will and won’t follow for advice. Look at your life and figure out how you can create more happiness by eliminating as much as possible. I call this stress prioritizing. For this example, writing is at the top of the list. Analyze your daily to-do list and for each item ask, will this further my writing goals? If yes, it stays. If no, can it be removed, delegated to someone else, or at least reduced in time or made easier in some way?
You have to decide what’s most important to you and what you can sacrifice or minimalize. Where do you want to be in one year, five years, and ten years? NOW is the time to pave that path. You can do it without suffering from Overwhelm but you have to be strict, disciplined, and exercise your right to be yourself and say no to what doesn’t make you happy.
You must tame the turbulent flow of information that crosses your path and intersects your thoughts everyday. Here are a few exercises to get you started:
Evaluate where you can delete or change with a “take no prisoners” mentality.
Decide what knowledge you need to further your immediate writing goals for current projects and make a list.
Go through your inbox and remain subscribed only to the information that offers you prime not pressured writing education to advance your written goals.
It’s not about just doing it all. The most precious part of life is the experiences we have, and whom we have them with. Being in demand is great but if you’re sinking in Overwhelm quicksand, or feel like you’re on autopilot then the days zoom by without your active participation. This is your life and there are no do-overs.
How do you tame the overwhelm in your life? Do you have steps that you suggest to stay focused and productive in crazy times? Please share in the comments below!
Sitting in the sun under a blue sky, enjoying breezy temps, and the chattering entertainment of my birds fluttering from feeder to feeder, I’m reveling in this rejuvenating season…Spring!
A chance to breathe fresh air, bake in the warm sunshine, experience new growth, regroup after being away from the keyboard, and believe yourself back into the writing game.
As authors, we live in our minds, planning, plotting, persuading...Though, even with a perfect strategy and the best of intentions, sometimes distractions gradually shove writing out of our daily lives.
We lust after the life that presents us the road to release our darkest demons, deepest desires, and highest hopes.
If taking a forced break from writing makes you miss and appreciate it more than ever then it's time to figure out ways to make it a priority player among your daily tasks.
So do not dismay, because if writing is a calling not just a career, it will find its way back into your life.
Have challenges led you astray and caused you to drift off course from your goals? Here are 4 ways to help snap you back on track so you can believe yourself back into the writing game!
1. Read Your Own Books
Remind yourself why you chose this creative career path. You do not have to be a writer, you get to live out of your imagination where anything is possible! Reading your own books where you penned your heart and soul onto the page breathes life into new inspiration. This peek into the past will help you focus on the future by energizing you to develop another manuscript that you can be proud to share with the world.
2. Browse Through Your Own Blog Archives
See what your readers see. It’s interesting to go back and take your own advice. Life works in cycles so some of the issues and experiences that led you to etch out a particular post may be occurring again. Or, you might have a different perspective on an old challenge. A novel solution can equal multiple blog entries or a chapter in your next book. Reviewing previous projects delivers a fantastic opportunity to brainstorm on any changes you want to make to the look and feel of your site and overall online appearance.
3. Sort Through Those Folders Of Ideas And Files Of Words
Find an open uncluttered spot on your desk (I know, difficult to do sometimes.) Have some colored sticky notes, a marker, and paper clips handy. Batch similar topics together and label them with a suggested theme for a blog post or article. You’ll probably find items in those folders that you forgot about so it’ll provide you with fresh content ideas that you can repurpose in multiple areas.
4. Start Back To Writing With Your Favorite Subject
What topic can you write eloquently and passionately about for hours and still not run out of words? It's that caring from the heart subject where there's no struggling and searching for the best way to deliver your message.
In order to believe in your future as an author it helps to revisit and revel in your past victories. What motivated you then can empower you now if you let your mind go and feel what it was like to wake everyday and let your fingers have the power to travel in any direction they desire over the keyboard. Take a deep breath and allow your pen to race across the page. A new chapter can begin at any moment….
Have you come back after a scribal sabatical? How did you kick yourself back into gear? Share the steps of worked for you in the comments below!
The writer's Individuality
is at the heart and soul of each masterpiece. If you read 12 authors in the
same genre, each selection would feel different because of the creator's
distinctive style. Do you find that your characters possess little bits of you
in them? The appearances, idiosyncrasies, the situations they inevitably land
in, and how they resolve these dilemmas all reflect the writer's unique flair.
Explore your past
experiences, challenges, mistakes, and triumphs when brainstorming your next
project. Each one of us has a different road map to work from. What original
twist can you develop a plot around? Have you met any colorful people in your
life that could play a role in your next saga? Observe those who cross your
path from now on, and take notes. I tell people (half jokingly) watch out, you
might end up starring in my next book!
What is the signature
approach that makes your favorite authors stand out?
It may be a particular
ongoing theme, such as the futuristic time frame in J.D Robb's In Death series. James Patterson's chapters
often consist of only two to four pages, which, gives you the illusion you are
moving through his books faster. Sue Grafton is working on an A - Z collection
of suspense stories where each title coincides with a letter in the alphabet.
Janet Evanovich specializes
in humor with her female bounty hunter stories, featuring Stephanie Plum.
Hearing interviews, I discovered she is from the area where those dramas take
place and, you can hear tonal similarities between her and the vibrant
characters she creates. I've met Nora Roberts and recognize her personality and
temperament permeating through Eve Dallas in the J.D. Robb books. And, she
always portrays strong female heroines.
Feel fortunate because
every obstacle you encounter is source material for a novel, short story,
article, blog post, or ebook. View all of life's ups and downs through your
customized eyeballs and mind filters, then translate the words into inspiring,
funny, educational, or just plain entertaining material for your fans!
No two snowflakes,
fingerprints, or writers are identical. Focus on Individuality rather than
competition and comparison. This will produce new and exciting ways to express
who you are!
Think about your own brand. Where does it stand now? Where
do you want to take it in the future?
Take some time to work on the following exercise.
Answering this question will help guide you in the direction that you want to
take your brand.
*** Individuality shows
in the words you use, the humor you inject, the help you offer, the experience
you provide, and how you make your customers feel. List three defining
characteristics you possess that can help transform you into a recognizable
What could you accomplish in 30 days with your writing if
you replaced 3 un-resourceful behaviors with positive habits?
A habit is arecurrent, often unconscious pattern of behavior
that is acquired through frequent repetition. Your mind is a computer that you
can command to record and repeat negative actions or, you can sway writing
success in your favor by deleting the unproductive deeds and imprinting a
Here are 3 Positive Habits To Sway Writing success In Your
1. Read books in
you write suspense, romance, sci-fi thrillers, or children's books, you need to
keep in touch with what's selling. This isn't only about kicking back and
relaxing with your favorite novel. It's necessary research on your market and
it strengthens your talent. My critique group recently commented on
improvements they could see in my suspense novel with character development and
dialog. I credit a lot of that with studying other books.
2. Maintain a
constant flow of positive input-Yes more reading, or listening to tapes and CD's, which I
prefer. The main person you must believe in is you. There's a lot of negative
language tossed around in this world. One of the shields you can use to deflect
any that comes your way is the personal development material you absorb.
Breaking into fiction is challenging. Keep your attitude positive by reading
Mark Victor Hansen, Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Jack Canfield, Bob
Proctor, Napoleon Hill, Dale Carnegie. Anything by these guys and many others
will help you stay focused and keep your attitude positive through multiple
drafts, rejections and rewrites.
3. Study how-to
characterization, setting, attention grabbing introductions, unexpected twists
along the way, and the grand finale! Fiction takes more than an active
imagination. It requires that you take time to learn your craft.
Implement These 2 Actions When You Finish Reading This Entry
For Best Results
1. Make a list
of three un-resourceful Habits that are preventing you from furthering your
2. Imagine your
life without these behaviors. List three accomplishments you could achieve in
thirty days if you changed them.
You can set the course that your scribe embarks upon and
continue to lead your creative spirit down a productive rather than a
destructive path. These 2 exercises could be the starting point of your journey
or a pit stop along the way, offering you a chance to refuel and change
Grit helps you access your creativity even when its hibernating in the
crevices of your right brain. Grit isn't a born trait. It's a raw
characteristic that you have control over cultivating.
Grit is what keeps your butt stuck in the chair, fingers glued to the keyboard or clutching a pen scrawling away on paper.
Grit keeps you writing daily even on those days when your cranial computer is creeping along or conks out and needs a restart.
Grit is what propels you to write one more sentence and expand it into one more paragraph so you'll be one more page closer to your daily goal.
Grit pulls you from the depths of, how am I ever going to complete this book, into being scrappy enough to sort through the scramble of ideas, notes, character profiles, plot points, setting descriptions, and dialogue, so you can develop it all into a sizzling saga or motivational non-fiction manuscript.
Grit keeps you surging forward forging new trails and repaving old or worn ones.
Grit helps keep your mind focused, your manuscripts fresh, your plots intriguing, and your characters compelling.
Grit means you're pulling on the gloves and fighting through rounds of brainstorming, crafting the tale, edits, rewrites, cover design, publishing, and marketing. And then getting excited enough to dive in and do it all again and again!