Monday, June 27, 2011

Dealing With Discouragement

I know writers sometimes get overwhelmed while juggling life and pounding out prose. And things do happen that pull us away from our creativity. That's called life and the only alternative to that will suddenly and permanently end your writing career altogether.

That being said,I've noticed recently that writers- specifically Christian authors- are being hit with discouragement. I have numerous author friends and colleagues and I can honestly say not one of them is free right now from this ball and chain.

So what is a writer to do? How do we fight against that negative emotion when it wraps its tentacles around us and pulls us down into the pit of despair? Most of the discouragement we experience is a direct result of being overwhelmed. The good news is that Overwhelm is entirely treatable!

When life happens in such rapid succession it's overwhelming, it's important to:

1) GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK! Take time to regroup. You may not be able to fly to the Swiss Alps for two weeks. Wouldn't that be lovely? You can take a day, an hour, or a few moments to exclude all outside distractions and just spend the time on Y.O.U. Take a hot bath. Go for a walk. Get an ice cream cone. Something that will recharge you.

2) LIGHTEN UP! You can't do it all. Nor can you be all things to all people all the time. So don't hold yourself to it. We have so many things tugging at us, we rarely feel like we do any of them justice. Do the best you can in every circumstance but don't expect any more of yourself than that. It just won't happen and is utterly unfair to you.

3) SET REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS: You could have 127 items on your daily "to do" list. Wow! That's ambitious and... ummm... CRAZY! It's great to have a list. It's one of the greatest tools to keep you on task. You will be productive by working toward accomplishing each and every one of those tasks, but not all in the same day. Prioritize and make it a point to finish the most pressing ones, and give yourself permission to do the rest tomorrow... or next week... or...

The bottom line is that, in your overwhelmingly busy life when you just can't seem to get ahead in the game, you have to consciously do things to avoid being overwhelmed. If you can master that, you'll be able to combat discouragement.

What steps can you take today that will build in those safeguards in your life? Leave a comment here and help others. Implement the steps and you'll help yourself.

For more ideas on how to organize your day, pick up this book:

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