"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Monday, January 4, 2016

How Being Over-whelmed can Cause Writers to Sometimes "Under-perform"

There it was.
Staring at me with eyes of scorn and disappointment.
My take charge (you can do it girl!) year-end “to do” list.
As Un-tackled as a football player scoring a winning touchdown.

You see, by nature, I’m a very structured, methodical person--a big planner.
Focused. Laser-sharp, anal.
An “over-achiever” some might say.
And my intentions were good, noble even.

But like many writers and creative individuals, I bit off more than I could chew.
And as a result, had several detours on my path to success for the end of 2015.

They were as follows…
  • I was over-committed--I had too many things to achieve within a short period of time.
  • Competing demands
  • “Pipe dreams” that required a reality check
  • People to see and places to be
  • A lack of resources (financial, physical, instructional, etc.)

Adding insult to injury, were the holiday related events and activities, for which there was no escape.
  • Cooking a big “spread”
  • Shopping for loved ones and the obligatory after holiday bargain hunting
  • Holiday decorating, phone calls, and sending off Xmas cards
  • And a partridge in a pair tree…!

    Frustrated, overwhelmed, and clueless as to what should be my course of action, in the midst of the madness, my “get up and go” went  M.I.A!  So I resorted to my default position.
    I simply did nothing.

    Sound familiar?
    If it does, don’t feel guilty. Shift happens!
    But don’t let temporary detours permanently ground you.

    Don't lose your groove.
    Here’s how to get back on track for 2016.

    Lose the guilt and gain some clarity.
Sometimes this may call for kicking back, revisiting and revising those goals. Which ones are a real priority? What do you need (in addition to simple desire) to achieve them? Write it down. Assess. Act accordingly.
          In the words of Sarah Palin: “Don’t retreat, reload.”
What fires up your passion? What types of projects interest and inspire you? What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning? Make sure to balance these with the ones that you have to take on to pay the bills. I find that quite often, when we procrastinate, it’s due to a dislike or fear of an assignment or task. Think toilet cleaning, or a dental visit, or tax time.
      Break things down into manageable parts.
For example, if you wanted to start a blog, you might break it up into:
Choosing a name
Deciding a theme
Designing a site and choosing the template
Determining blog post frequency
Brain-storming ideas for future posts

Get the drift here?
  Recognize that your worth as a writer and a person is not always about achievement.

   It relieves some of the self-imposed pressure. “We are human beings not human doings.”
  Reward yourself for accomplishments along the way.

 This can keep you motivated and maintain momentum.
When I get a new client, for instance, I treat myself to business related books, or music to add to my collection, or more chocolate, or an update to enhance my office. You should too.

Sometimes feeling overwhelmed can be a work related hazard for writers. As we juggle full-time gigs, family obligations, and deferred dreams.

But with each day, each new year, there are endless possibilities.
Why not make 2016 a year in which you seize more opportunities, conquer more fears, and take your writing to new levels?

I'm game. How about you? 


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  2. Your points are well taken, especially "we are human beings not human doings" I like that reward yourself part, also. Here's to more writing success for you in the new year. Thanks for all you do to inspire others.

  3. Appreciate your encouragement here, Jennifer. Have found myself here many times (a little today, actually, lol). Over the past several months I've been working overall to refine and clarify goals and streamline. Getting there. :) Thanks for your insight!

  4. Thanks for your post Jennifer, and best wishes or 2016! I like the idea of breaking things down into manageable parts, and rewarding yourself with for example an office update or - enhancement.

    For what updating or enhancing offices is concerned, in my recent (Happy New Year) post

    - A Great Start - you can read all about how to update and enhance your office with - among other things - office products with very special designs for writing stationary that we designed ourselves.

    Like for example the Peacock Feather Pens,
    (that are actually in demand)

    The special graphical designs are a combination of wildlife photo's and cartoon-style elements, with impressive lettering and sometimes even with cartoon-like text balloons.

  5. Oh,man. How timely is this? Most of 2015 was a slog for me in the writing arena. Gotta get moving again! Thanks for the "kick" Jennifer. =0)I'm game!

  6. Lin,

    Thanks so much for being one of my favorite "cheer leaders." :-)

  7. Hi H.P.

    Thanks for connecting and sharing! :-)

  8. Sue,

    You're already a "winner" in my book! :-)