The ultimate plan for avoiding writing burnout

I have the ultimate plan for avoiding writing burnout. It may even help.

Did I oversell that? I think I might have oversold it. Okay, this may not be the ultimate plan for anyone to avoid burnout as a writer, but it’s my plan for me for right now. Who knows, it may even help.

In case you just arrived here from Pluto (no longer a planet, but still a lovely holiday spot), I should point out the world for the past few years has been rough.

That’s made writing hard. Some days it’s made everything hard.

Early in the pandemic, I tried to do too much with my writing life and I burned out. I didn’t write for two years. I thought maybe it was just me, but when I poked my nose online I saw people everywhere talking about burnout.

I have friends! They may not know I exist, but they’re my friends regardless. Maybe you’re one of them.

If you are, stay a while. Have a cookie.

Continue reading “The ultimate plan for avoiding writing burnout”

The joys and pitfalls of obsession

I have a natural inclination towards obsession, focussing all my energies on one thing until it bursts into flame. Sometimes this is bad. Not always.

Ask someone who knows me in real life, and they’ll tell you I’m quite good at obsession.

I think of it as having a talent for focus. Hubby disagrees.

In the past I’ve obsessed over study, work, hobbies, romantic interests (before you freak out, I married him in the end), concepts (but what little girl isn’t crazy about horses?), reading books (like reading a ten-book series ten times back to back), writing books, TV shows, video games, and the absolute best way to construct a wall out of branches and pine needles.

I exaggerate. My pine walls were good, but I could have made them better with an additional ten years to experiment.

A flair for obsession can bring unexpected rewards, but the path to them is thick with pit traps and those nasty things you step on that release a log in your face. Today I’m going to share some of these joys and downfalls so you can decide for yourself if a life of obsession is right for you.

Continue reading “The joys and pitfalls of obsession”

What I learned in high school English

My search for a critique partner brought back memories of high school English. Some fond, some not so much. I also remembered why I hate short stories.

If you follow my blog, you probably know I’m currently on the hunt for my perfect critique partner (CP).

“You haven’t settled on someone yet?”

Yes, I heard you say that. No, I haven’t.

And not because no one’s approached me or because I’m terrible at making decisions (though I am).

I want a relationship that will give maximum value on both sides and last at least a decade. You can’t rush into that sort of thing.

In the meantime I’m having conversations and exchanging chapters with several talented and committed writers, hopefully giving value and definitely receiving it.

In case you’re wondering I’m also still open to being approached by new people. If you’re on the fence, don’t be shy. The worst that could happen is that your house could be invaded by a herd (snap? swish? gobble?) of hungry alligators.

Continue reading “What I learned in high school English”

What I did during lockdown and my reading list by black authors

In which I share my reflections on how Covid-19 lockdown did not live up to expectations and my reading list of books by black authors.

On 23 March 2020, New Zealand went into level 3 lockdown in preparation for going into level 4 lockdown two days later.

I went home.

Yesterday, on 8 June 2020, we finally made it down to zero active cases of Covid-19 in the country and the alert level dropped to level 1.

Between those times, I left the house twice–both times to drive to the shop around the block and not get out of the car. Today for the first time I went into the shop.

Other were people were there and I’m still not sure how I feel about that.

I guess lockdown is over (for now and hopefully permanently), so this seems like a good time to reflect on it.

Continue reading “What I did during lockdown and my reading list by black authors”

In which I celebrate small victories

Pandemic times are tough, and it’s important we celebrate our small victories. Here are some of mine.

Some days are more epic than others.

Some days you might summit Mount Everest (or at least Mount Rolleston) or complete your solo sail across the Pacific Ocean.

Other days your victories are smaller.

In these pandemic times, I’ve been having a lot of the small victory type days.

But even small victories are worth celebrating, so that’s what I’m doing in this post.

Continue reading “In which I celebrate small victories”