Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Bactine for Writer's Burnout Part 3 (Writers Meetings) / IWSG

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

What is writer’s burnout?

Burnout is very different from writer’s block. It’s worse. 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.

To read my story and the 3 tips I previously shared check out: 

More Tips to Help You START Reversing Writer’s Burnout:

When we’re burned out, blocked, or otherwise struggling to write, the best thing may not be to force ourselves to sit at our desks and stare at the blank page. That can be paralyzing. Sometimes, the best thing can be to get away from our desk and escape the pressure to fill that page by seeking company with individuals who understand.

Writers do the initial work of writing alone. But we do have critique partners, beta readers, editors, proofreaders, publishers…the list goes on and on. And yet, writers are the ones sitting at the desk (or wherever you prefer), putting down words, day in and day out. Occasionally, it can be a lonely job, especially if you don’t have someone close to you to share it with.

That’s where writers groups and meetings come in.


At the peak of my burnout, when I finally admitted to myself I was indeed burned out, I took the first step by voicing my problem on social media. I received wonderful support from many writers and even some people who don’t write. But I craved a deeper connection.

A dear friend and fellow IWSGer (yes, I’m talking about you again, M.J. Fifield) had been giving me monthly emails for a local writers group that meets at a library right down the road from where I live. For months, I had wanted to go but something always fell on the same day as the meeting. Then on the first Saturday, after I spoke my truth they were having a gathering and I didn’t have another commitment. The topic that would be presented that day was about storyboarding, which sounded like just the topic for a writer in my position. Better yet, I found out the day before that M.J. herself was the presenter.

The meeting was great. Everyone was so kind, and I felt right at home. I also loved the layout of the meeting: writing-related presentation, critiques, and a writing exercise at the end. Just the perfect balance for me.

As an introvert, it is tough for me to get out and speak up, but I got out and I forced myself to speak up, give advice, add to the conversation, and I’m glad I did.

I left rejuvenated.

Being around other writers inspired me. It was just what I needed after feeling disconnected from writing and the world for so long.

BACTINE #9: Check your local libraries.

Go to the reference desk of your local library or give them a call and ask if a group of writers get together there once a month for a meeting. If the closest library doesn’t have a meeting, go further. There are several libraries within a thirty-minute driving distance from where I live, so try them all.

BACTINE #10: Facebook Groups and

Maybe your local libraries don’t host writers meetings. Don’t worry! Do a search on Facebook for groups in your area for writers, join them, and see if they meet. is another great source. Groups who meet weekly or monthly and are open to new additions are listed on Search for a writing group in your area, check out the listing and information provided on when the next meet up will be. If it sounds good to you, join it. You never know what’ll happen.

BACTINE #11: Create your own group.

If you can’t find a group to join, create your own. Announce it on Create a flyer and ask your local libraries if you can pin it up somewhere. Heck, leave a flyer on some tables when no one is looking. Set up a Facebook Group, share your intentions to all of your social media and blog followers and see if people want to join.

Even if you get just one writer attending your meetings, that’s one writer you can connect with, learn from, and one day lean on.

TIP: Make sure to have a way they can signup so you can receive their email address and send out notices for the next meeting. If you have fliers, provide your email address for interested people to contact you.

Take a chance.





More Bactine posts for Writer’s Burnout coming soon!

QUESTIONS: Have you ever gone to a writers meeting? What was your experience?

Monday, October 15, 2018

Organization Tip: Agent Lists #AuthorToolBoxBlogHop


Submitting to agents and publishers is time-consuming. When you’re doing this process, you need to be organized. You don’t want to send to the same publisher twice in one month or send to multiple agents in the same agency. (Many say if it’s a no from one agent, it’s a no from all.) And most agents want the right to say yes or no before you give it to another agent in their house.

Something to keep you orderly during this process is a simple notebook or binder with loose leaf paper and dividers.

Create a list of agents you want to send to. Include the agent's name, the agency’s name, the submission email address, and what is required for the submission (query, # of manuscript pages, synopsis, etc.).

Whenever you submit to an agent, cross that agent off your Submit To list and move the agent’s name and agency to your Submitted list. Next to their name, write the date you sent the query letter. I do this in red.

If I receive a rejection, I write “REJECTED” in bold letters cross the agent’s info on the Submitted list.

I also have lists of small publishers to try.

That’s it. Just lists of info to remind you of where you submitted, when, and who responded.

I keep this notebook on my desk at all times. Whenever I look for more agents to send to, I add them to my Submit To list. And when I get into a submitting kick, I have this notebook opened to keep track of my efforts.

TIP: If you're tech-savvy and love spreadsheets, you can create Submit To, Submitted, and Rejected spreadsheets to stay organized on your submission journey.

QUESTION: How do you keep track of your submissions?


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