When You Feel Overwhelmed
By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin
In the publishing world, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with all the responsibility that falls on every author. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to publish your first work or you have written bestselling books. The feelings of overwhelm can spring into your life. As a writer you have a multitide of things that you need to accomplish. Here’s just a few of them:
--Create excellent writing
--Make the right connection
--Write an attention-getting book proposal (follow the link for a free copy of my much-reviewed book)
--building a website
--beginning and maintaining an email list
--blogging on a consistent and regular basis
--connecting through social media
--marketing yourself and your writing
--and much more
Each of these various skills can consume many hours to accomplish. Some of them like excellent writing is never accomplished because as writers we continue to grow, learn and improve.
From my decades in publishing, I want to give several facts. First, every writer feels overwhelmed from time to time including me. At times the work is daunting and the results are often unpredictable and outside of anything I can control. Also while I accomplish and complete individual tasks, the work is never done and there is always more to be done.
When you have these feelings (and everyone does), what do you do? Before I give you some active suggestions, let’s talk about what not to do. First, don’t quit. Then don’t procrastinate and do nothing. Each of us spin our wheels from time to time but snap out of it and get going. I’ve seen many people stop working in the writing world.
Here’s my encouragement about what actions to take. First get your fingers on the keyboard and keep going. Continue to write stories. Your consistent writing and making progress counts and will pay off in the long run. No one sits at their keyboard and in a single session completes a full-length work.
Make time to plan and organize how you are moving forward. For example, I’ve learned that I don’t work well in chaos or mess. I understand some people write well at a coffee shop but I don’t. I complete more work and quicker if I have a plan and a relatively neat office. As I’ve written in the past, publishers and authors will send books that they want me to read and write reviews. Last week these books were stacking up in my office and becoming overwhelming. I took a few minutes and narrowed the books and organized them into something manageable. It took a few minutes but lessened my overwhelming feelings. I encourage you to take these sorts of actions in your writing life to plan and organize, then move forward. If I’m not going to read a particular book, it’s better for me to put it out of my sight and donate it or give it to someone else.
Also keep learning, experimenting and growing. For example, a much published author reached out to me last week and asked if I would read and review her book. I agreed and she sent it to me. I’m learning a great deal from reading it. This book was released late last year and has no reviews (at least on two online places that I checked). It takes work and effort to get these reviews. It’s something every writer has to do and if you need ideas, follow this link.
When you feel the stress and overwhelmed, take some time to exercise and walk around the block or any type of movement. As writers, we spend a lot of time sitting and in our chair. There is value and reduction of stress through taking simple actions to care for yourself.
I hope these words encourage you because if you are feeling overwhelmed, you are not alone. Every writer feels this way but the critical element is what actions are you taking to move ahead in spite of those feelings? Let me know what else you suggest in the comments.
My Articles in Other Places.
In these articles, I often encouraged you to publish your book on other blogs and other places. Here’s some of my articles which have been published recently:
Create a Fascinating Marketing Plan Most of us would like to delegate this responsibility to someone else. In this article I explain why every writer needs to take these steps. Take An Underused Author Path Most writers want to publish a book. In this article, I encourage authors to take a different journey to get published which can reach more people and give you visibility in the marketplace for editors and literary agents.
Get Writing Wisdom and Experienced Insights As writers, we need wisdom and experienced insight. In this article, I give specific suggestions where you can find these elements for your writing life.