Welcome to September! I’ve got some fun projects heading your way. However…
As always snags persist. I have a family member currently dying. Of cancer. It’s really weird to watch that process… especially considering we share the same cancer clinic. And our oncologists are married. Oy.
But yeah. About the time I get a good creative groove going, another crisis erupts. I’m not complaining. That’s because I’m a bonafide, card carrying tortoise. (Ha. How’s that for a segue into today’s topic?)
Truth is, if it weren’t for freelancing, I doubt I’d be able to make a living. Between the schedule flexibility and awesome clients… I feel pretty darn thankful… especially in today’s breathless, hurry up, writing environment.
That said my newest nonfiction, “Stuck,” is finally available! I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. I’d be tickled pink if you let me know what you think of it. 🙂
In the mean time, take care and keep writing! And if you figure you don’t write fast enough, read on. I’m about to break an annoying trope…
Onward and upward,
“Creative blocks don’t exist.” “Change your attitude.” “Just blast through your block.” I heard it all; every trite band aid solution to my very complex, creative block.
Truth was, a life changing medical challenge didn’t fill me with inspiration. It wasn’t a positive transformative experience, either.
Instead, I found myself navigating a crazy maze of emotions and head scratching moments. With each new blow, with every new reality, I realized I had a tangle of issues to unwind before I could resume my creative life. Perhaps you’re in the same boat.
If you’ve found yourself with a dream, a higher goal, but just can’t get started… this book’s for you. It’s for every dreamer, aspirerer, gentle soul who wants to achieve their life purpose, but can’t seem to get on the path.
Each short chapter contains a bit of my personal story, applications to your situation, as well as prompts to help you untangle your inability to get moving. You’ll also receive a unique set of tools in the Bonus Tool Chest in the final section. You can also download the official “Stuck” meditation.
It’s OK to be a Tortoise
An Excerpt from Stuck: Transforming Everything You Think You Know About Creative Blocks
Beth Ann Erickson
“Buy now!” “Supplies are limited!” “Don’t miss out!” “This offer ends at MIDNIGHT!”
If you recall, I work in the writing/publishing biz. After my cancer drama, I emerged from my absence amazed to discover how breathless my peers in this industry have become. I’ve discovered fewer authors and more word churners with aggressive daily word counts.
Today productivity, more than craft, is the name of the game.
Every conference I’ve attended is inundated with exhausted tales of tearful authors recounting days of forcing over ten thousand words through their fingertips.
“I only write five thousand,” one grouses.
“I can only eke out 7k,” says another.
“Well,” said a fiction scribe, “I didn’t get anything else done yesterday, but I pushed out 45 thousand.”
My mouth dropped.
I guess I’m a tortoise clocking in a measly 2k per day. However, I tend to do that without fail. That gives me 10k per week. 40k per month (give or take). But hey, if these writers can keep up that pace, good for them.
But, I can’t help but wonder about quality. Storyline. Craft.
I know I’m not the best writer in the world. However, I tend to produce fairly clean manuscripts, stories I enjoy, and best of all, I enjoy time to breathe.
My schedule won’t make me the most prolific writer in the industry, but I can maintain a sane lifestyle, I have time to take care of the body that has carried me through so much pain. I enjoy life. Best of all? After over two decades, I still love everything about my craft, the publishing world, readers.
I’m not sure when it suddenly became cool to churn out book after book like a robotic assembly line. But I’m out of that rat race. Done. Finished.
Good or bad, I’ll tackle my career my own way and advise you to do the same.
You aren’t me. I’m not you. I’m definitely not a speeding rabbit when it comes to my career.
I’m more like the tortoise; steady, slow, methodical.
Here’s the deal: Sometimes life feels too focused on competition, make more money, create a successful aura (whether it’s true or not). I’ve watched some fellow writers sashay into a five star hotel and throw their weight around. That’s not me. My roots are pure blue collar, hard work, respect for everyone no matter their so-called status.
Because here’s the secret: Reality is, we’re all the same. We’re just people. Despite all our efforts, we’re going to die. We have 24 hours each day; no more, no less.
The difference doesn’t lie in the number of dollars in your pocket, it lies in how you spend the one nonrenewable resource available to everyone: time. True relevance happens when you help others, make the world a little better, genuinely care. When you engage in a job well done. When you’ve cultivated a strong family. When people miss you when you’re gone.
The speed at which you create is irrelevant. What matters is what you create and how you continue your momentum. Faithfulness is far more powerful than speed.
Remember this next time you meet someone claiming to churn out tens of thousands of pristine words on a page.
Tips to utilize this tool:
I’ll repeat this mantra until the day I die:
Faithfulness is far more powerful than speed.
Writing a couple thousand, or even a few hundred, words daily will get you farther than a crazy marathon that leaves you drained and exhausted. Remember, readers can tell when you truly love that which you create.
Remember to slow down and fill your cup. Surround yourself with life, inspiration, joy, love. Read. Talk to children. Share a lunch table with someone you barely know. Adopt a stray kitten, they’ll teach you a lot about life. Pet an old dog.
Look at the world through another person’s eyes.
If your aim is to create something you’re proud of, give yourself permission to take the time to do it right. Focus on that and forget the buzzing, breathless cool kids.