Monday, September 17, 2018

Organization Tip: Email Folders #AuthorToolBoxBlogHop


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I like to be organized. It’s true, especially when it comes to being a writer/author. I am my boss. I am the manager of my business. Organization is key when you’re running a business, and that’s precisely what you’re doing.

Previously I mentioned how I keep track of my expenses and earnings. I’ve also hinted at how I use email folders to save receipts and blog tour emails.

Well, I have a lot more email folders than that.

As a matter of fact, I have email folders for each of my published works. Whenever I send or receive an email regarding one of my books, I move it into that book’s email folder. Every email from my editor and publisher is put into these folders. Emails for promos that are in the works, including blog tours, are also added.

I also have folders for the works I am querying. The emails I send out are moved to these folders. When I receive a rejection, I have a folder marked as “Rejections.”

What other folders do I have?

-      Book Club (emails to the moderators for the IWSG book club)
-      Comments (lovely emails or blog comments I’ve received)
-      Editing (client emails)
-      Fey’s Sparklers (my street team)
-      Giveaways (emails I send to giveaway winners)
-      Guest Posts (for guests of my blog)
-      IWSG
-      Mom (these are the emails regarding my mom’s children’s books)
-      My Newsletter (my newsletters that go out)
-      Promo Info
-      Receipts (online receipts and PayPal emails)
-      Rejections
-      Reviews
-      SAVE (works-in-progress I have put on the back burner)

Once or twice a year, I delete emails I don’t need anymore, such as for completed blog tours and review requests that weren’t answered.

I return to these emails a lot if I need to recall or double-check something, find a document I received or sent, and make sure I sent an email. These emails also make a great record and can provide "proof" of a conversation or confirmation if you ever need it. 

I love my email folders, and I add to them every day.


QUESTION: Do you organize your email folders? How?


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Bactine for Writer’s Burnout Part 1 (Speak) / IWSG

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers of all kinds.


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Sale ends on September 14th!


***

Long Post Alert! 
***I broke this article up to help you skim if you don’t have time to read it all.***


What is writer’s burnout?

Burnout is very different from writer’s block. It’s worse. Many years ago, I experienced a bad case of writer’s block that stopped my writing for 2 or 3 months. I’ve also experienced the normal day-to-day writer’s block, as well as weeks of writer’s block. And, yes, writer’s block can last a year.

But writer’s burnout is not writer’s block. Writer’s burnout is something you feel deep down…bone-deep. It’s just like when athletes burnout from working themselves too hard and too much for too long. They can lose their love of the sport, physically and mentally.


My Story:

I had been writing since I was twelve, and I mean seriously writing with the goal of publication. I wrote nearly every single day. Of course, as I got older and started publishing, I couldn’t write every day, but I still wrote most of the time.

September 2016, I fell headfirst into a spiraling abyss of depression. This depression went on for nine months. I couldn’t write. I struggled to even want to blog. In the beginning, I could hardly eat. April 2017, I finally felt like my old self, but something was still wrong…I wasn’t writing.

I did experience one week of great writing in August. And I did write during the last few days of 2017 and the first two days of 2018, but then…nothing. I tried. I did everything I could possibly do, but I couldn’t focus on a single project longer than a day or two. Writing a paragraph was a mental and physical challenge. For months I had a scary thought but didn’t want to admit it. And then, one night, I knew it was true…I was burned out as a writer.

The next day, I took to Facebook to confess the struggle I’ve had for so long. I got lovely support from many writer friends.

I ended up having to add an update to my post saying I wasn’t looking for advice. I just wanted to be honest and to share my problem with writers who may also be facing burnout. And all the advice I was getting, I had tried. Several times. I did all the things I tell others who suffer from writer’s block to do, but again…I didn’t have writer’s block. The normal tricks were falling. Although the advice was given out of love, they were given by writers who didn’t quite understand, which is not their fault. It was their support that really boosted me, and I did get messages from a couple of writers who did know just what I was talking about and also dealt with extreme depression. It was nice to know I wasn't alone.


3 Tips to START Reversing Burnout:

It was thanks to all of the comments I got that I realized a big step to hopefully reversing my burnout was what I had just done and didn’t realize…

I spoke my truth.

I shared my personal struggle.

I let others in.

BACTINE #1: If you are afraid you’re facing writer’s burnout, or if you have writer’s block, or even if you’re not sure…share your struggle with others.

A lightbulb went off in my head. From then on, I shared my journey back to writing on my author Facebook page.

Why?

1. Accountability

Sharing each and every day how I did was a great way to be accountable, to at least try so I had share something with my supporters. And knowing that made me want to try harder.

2. It’s a journey.

I may be doing the journey alone, but by sharing it I am including others…I’m not alone anymore.

3. Daily Log/Progress Meter

I posted in the evening to share how I did that day, like a daily log. It was an update for the people who wanted to know how I was fairing, but it was also a journal for me, something I could look back on to see my progress. That in itself was motivating.


BACTINE #2: Post daily progress reports on a social media platform of your choice. In my updates, I shared my word count, if I wrote that day, or what I did that was writing related that was a step out of my comfort zone or was new and inspiring. I also shared how I reward myself each day, even on the days I didn't write.


BACTINE #3: Reward yourself, too. Whatever you accomplish that day, whatever you do, reward yourself.

Did you write? Reward!

Did you go to a writer’s meeting? Reward!

Did you start reading a writing book? Reward!

Did you do things on your to-do list that prevented you from writing? Reward!

I’ve talked about rewarding yourself in two other blog posts (for submitting stories/queries and seeing rejections as badges of honor), so I really do believe in this practice.

I’ve rewarded myself with hot baths, chocolate, and binge-watching Charmed. It can be anything, and it helps me to relax, which is a big reason why I burned out in the first place. I was working myself too hard and not rewarding myself enough. Don’t make my mistake.



More Bactine posts for Writer’s Burnout coming soon!


QUESTIONS: Have you ever been burned out? How'd you get over it?



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