Monday, January 23, 2017

Newbie Corner: Pace Yourself

Once I make a decision to do something, I jump in with both feet. Instead of baking 100 cookies, I make 1,500. Crocheting - a simple scarf led to multiple afghans, baby sweaters, hats, mittens, adult sweaters, and throw pillows. I became a frenzied cookie baking/crocheting zealot. Whew!

Is it any wonder when I began writing, I used the same methodology? I quit every hobby and focused totally on learning the craft and submitting to publications. The rewards were satisfying, but in every case mentioned, I burned out.

I never wanted to bake another cookie.

The thought of picking up a crochet hook or skein of yarn made me want to hide under the covers.

And I came to the razor edge of chucking writing on that pile of enthusiastic projects.

It took me a long time to learn the wisdom of "slow and steady wins the race." Don't get me wrong, when I'm on a deadline, I'm as determined as ever to meet it. Yet, I also know that my writing will suffer if I neglect other aspects of my life.

I make time to soak in the Word of God, pray, and fellowship with my sisters and brothers in Christ.

Family and friends deserve my love and attention.

Rest, relaxation, and fun allow me to return to my writing with renewed energy and creativity.

Pacing ourselves builds endurance for the journey. Whether you're blogging, writing articles/poems/short stories, or penning your first novel, remember to live and notice the joys around you.

Writers and Readers: Have you ever become so obsessed with a hobby or some other activity that it chewed through the rest of your life like PacMan gone wild? How do you maintain a healthy balance?

Photo Credit:  Matteo Canessa


Karen Lange said...

LOL - I pictured you in the kitchen making 1500 cookies! Now that would be something. :) I have a tendency to go all in like that too sometimes. Working on pacing myself and using balance and wisdom.

Lynn J Simpson said...

This is great advise Susan! I've watched others and wondered what is wrong with me--I should be more productive! I do divide my time between a lot of things, and sometimes feel like I am mastering none, so have the opposite problem! Now I work on keeping it to three 'projects' only, beyond the life stuff of work, faith, family and friends, (however, I really want to pick up guitar again, which would add four..sigh!) Yes, so and steady is always best, and time is your friend, as Andy Stanley says.

quietspirit said...

Susan: I did the same thing with flower arranging. Our living room was full of arrangements. If a friend was needed cheering up-I made a flower arrangement. When my stepmother was in the nursing home, I made a fresh flower arrangement out of two of those bouquets they sell at the grocery store.
When I decided to go back into writing, I would wake up at 6:00 AM and write in long hand for two hours a day. I filled 3-ring binders with pages and pages of essay-type pages. AS I have gotten older, I have had to slow down the pace. But I still write in a journal as well as on my computer.

You are not alone in your frenzy. We all have probably been there.