If you could…

I read a fantastic post by  on Writer Unboxed. It’s a letter to her younger, writer self. It’s a beautiful letter (read it here), really well written but what inspired me was the concept.

I think the idea originally came from this post in So You’re a Writer. I thought it was a beautiful thought.

Once upon a time, you were a young reader who wrote for fun. Writing for publication was a distant, daring dream you had hidden deep in your soul. You didn’t think of yourself as a writer because you weren’t published. You wondered if you would make it, if you had what it took. You read like crazy and you wrote. Most of all, you loved to write.

What would you say to that young writer? If you could go back in time, what would you tell him or her?

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The need for self-care

I see burnout every day at my DayJob. We work with the public and they can always use more of your time, your services or simply you. It’s really hard to put a boundary and say no but the alternative is burnout.

Writers experience burnout too. Driven by the thirst to find that elusive dream, I push myself and then push even more. Some times, I push too hard. I lose perspective. That’s why self-care is so important.

Jennifer Gresham wrote a fantastic post on burnout in her blog Everyday Bright. She warns about the danger of overachieving. “In my experience, dreams multiply over time. The more you accomplish, the more you will want and expect to accomplish.”

I don’t think she’s telling us to settle and not dream. I think she’s telling us not to burn out and to not miss out on what we already have accomplished. “The real tragedy is that my dreams often take away from the richness and joy I have in my life right now. …My #1 dream is to enjoy the life I have, not the life I think I should have.”

This is a topic that I don’t want to talk about. I don’t want to hear that my dream is taking away from my life. I’d like to hear how to keep writing and become more successful. But that’s denial and that won’t get me very far.

I loved Jennifer’s message and I want to thank her for having the courage to be honest instead of just pretending everything is fine.

She’s not alone. Here’s Barbara O’Neal’s post on writer burnout from Writer Unboxed and Shawn Coyne’s very positive post on the same subject from Steven Pressfield‘s awesome blog. And, one more for the road, this resourceful post on coping mechanisms for writers by Laekan Zea Kemp.

A big thank you to these writers for great, inspiring posts!

Posts I loved this week

Beginning of Spring and blogs everywhere seem full of inspiration. These are the posts I particularly loved this week.

Poor Infinitefreetime…I felt really badly for him after this post. We all have days like that…but they sure suck. On the other hand, I’m not the only one who likes this blog, check out his numbers here. However, don’t click on this post. Do as he says and don’t click on it. It scared the bageezees out of me. Instead go to this post. It’s both cute and funny.

From Live to write – Write to live, a totally cute post. These are problems only readers will understand. And they are all so, so true! Plus the pictures are hilarious.

I’ve had to do it. I’ve had to erase chunks of a story because it just wasn’t right. Just like D. Emery Bunn says, you have to be true to the story. Loved his post on this subject. Absolutely, true. Great post.

Great set of resources in The Writing Catalog for writers. Check them out here. Thank you Gene’O!

Check out what’s happening at Sourcerer, a round up of great blogs! Love discovering new blogs and this is a great selection.

This was a lovely post about an adopted doggie becoming part of the family. Since we’ve just adopted River into our home, I both related and loved the story. Set with beautiful pictures, it’s a great read. Enjoy it in the great blog Rachelmankowitz.

While on the subject of doggies, check out this new doggie-friendly version of Veda’s Blog! Loved the change!

Chris Musgrave had this amazing post on narrative points of view. He didn’t just explain the difference between each one, he added examples and pros and cons. I absolutely loved it. A big thanks to him for that great post!

Another great post was Winter Bayne’s Teaser Tuesday. Loved that idea! Not only does it make a great post but I get to see a little bit of another book to try! A win-win in my book. As well, check out this great post full of promos for other blogs!

Outmanned did it again and wrote another post that both moved me and left me awed. She’s one incredibly talented writer. Check out the post here.

An excellent post on what to do if the thrill of writing is gone. Now, I’m only just discovering my thrill of writing, but burn out is a real issue for writers just like for anyone else. I loved this post by Barbara O’Neal. And here’s one for that dreaded Writer’s Block. Awesome post (and funny!) from Chris Musgrave.

I also loved this post by Mishka Jenkins on writing attraction well. Mishka writes historical romance, where attraction is even harder to write with today’s impatient readers in mind. Thank you for the great post, Mishka!

And finally, a big congrats to Jodie Llewellyn for reaching her word goal for ‘Wrapped in Darkness’! A thousand words a day. Absolutely awesome.

A little perspective

I have to admit, I’ve done it. I stared at the blog stats until I knew the numbers by heart, then I would check and recheck. The blog became a live entity I needed to keep happy…and, well, I wasn’t miserable but it was close.

I read a post by an author once who was miserable because their eight book wasn’t doing as well as they liked. I couldn’t believe it. I thought to myself: If I had eight books published, I wouldn’t be upset, I’d be throwing a party! But then, I thought about it again. Would I be content? Wouldn’t I want that ninth book published? I remember a time when the idea of my being published (one book) was so awesome I couldn’t think of it without bursting into giggles of delight. Now, I want my second book published.

It’s so easy for me to lose perspective….so I loved, loved this post: Are you letting the numbers deflate you? by Sarah Kathleen Peck because she puts it into perspective without telling me to settle for less.

Alexandra Franzen says it another way no less outstanding in this post. Loved it.

Barbara O’Neal redefines success in this great post.

Finally, here‘s a glimpse on what the numbers really look like for writers by Amy Neftzger. It really put things into perspective for me. If Anne Rice had to work during the day to keep the money coming in, then I certainly can as well.